“Neil Diamond’s Reel Injun accomplishes one truly remarkable feat. The documentarian, himself a Cree from Canada, sets out to craft a record of Hollywood’s depictions of Native people over the years. And that he does, neatly breaking the film down into cleanly defined eras with a string of fascinating interviews from key actors, journalists, activists and more to back himself up. It’s an absolutely fascinating trip. But more than that – and more importantly – in the process of creating this film about film, Diamond also creates a compelling portrait of a people still struggling to find our own voice and shape our own images. This last bit not despite, but because of, a library of over four thousand films dealing with Native people and culture, virtually all of them getting it willfully wrong.”
A serious yet playfully quizzical film, Diamond manages to bring to light new information with out creating an angry or resentful story. Not to say that persons watching the horrific scenes of Bugs Bunny killing off Native people will not feel upset but for many the film watching experience is one of acquiring further knowledge while having watched stereotypes be dismantled and critiqued. I highly recommend this film, which will have a US release later this spring.