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Older Than America 2008
Description: The truth of the past come to light in a series of haunting visions in this drama. The strange visions grow more vivid with every passing day, a young girl of Native American heritage starts piecing together a Catholic priests diabolical plot to prevent her mother from revealing the atrocities that unfolded at a Native Indian boarding school.
Released: 09 Feb 2012 Director: Georgina Lightning Writers: Georgina Lightning, Christine K. Walker Actors: Adam Beach, Tantoo Cardinal, Bradley Cooper, Glen Gould Genres: Drama
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Older Than America Reviews:

This film really is not a view of life in boarding schools, per se. I don't trust it was intended to be. It is a metaphor for the results still felt today by nearly all Native Americans here in the U.S. The film "is" a period place. All of the problems that the storyline touches base on are those that Natives all over Indian Country are dealing with today. It is not the direct reflection of one single reason why Natives today face the afflictions of poverty, alcoholism, abuse, unemployment, illiteracy, and loss of identity as a culture, but the culmination of many. Forced attendance into an institution specifically designed to strip away everything it means to be "Indian" just so happens to be the basic zone of focus in this film. The sub-plots add depth to the characters as well as much required comic relief. Even though this movie is classified as a drama, it could be shown in each history class across the United States, right after the lesson on the first "Thanksgiving".


I saw this film because it was rated 9.5 at this website on April 9, 2010. Mins into the film, I should say that this was rating was due only to the topics matter and not the quality of the movie itself. The script and acting are mediocre to poor, and the storyline is predictable from begin to finish. If you don't know Native American history, this movie could be an eye-opener. If you do, as I did before watching the movie, you will be satisfied to see that this necessary aspect of Native American history was made into a movie. If only it had been made into a film worth seeing. I should see that everyone involved with the making of the movie tried their best, but it didn't work. Very disappointed. 9.5? No, it's just a 5.


The storyline of American Indian boarding schools needs to be told. In the past Indian kids were taken from their parents, often forcibly, and place into highly-regimented schools designed to eradicate all signs of their "savagery." Test of Indian languages in these schools was forbidden and harshly punished.This film probably could have been a "period place" showing the experiences of an Indian kid thrust into the soul-killing globe of the boarding school. Perhaps it was feared this approach would limit the size of the audience. In any situation we receive a modern-day story, set in northern Minnesota, in which a boarding school is glimpsed only occasionally in brief flashbacks. Surrounding these flashbacks lies a plot cluttered with a bewildering number of elements: the arrogance of the Catholic Church, shock treatments, commercial development of sacred Indian lands, an election for mayor pitting a white boy vs a red man, gambling casinos, a love story, hallucinations and visions, family secrets leading to tensions, a bizarre crucifixion-style murder, etc. There's even a subplot involving a geologist investigating earthquakes! All this clutter is unnecessary and self-defeating because the storyline which the film wants to say is powerful enough as it is. It doesn't need to be "packaged" with elements which tend to detract from it rather than enhance it.



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