• The Silent Enemy
  • The Silent Enemy

schedule

The Silent Enemy: Representation of Native Americans

  • Introduction

    Michelle Raheja is an associate professor of English at UC Riverside and author of Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film.

  • In Conversation

    Margherita Ghetti holds a PhD in Italian studies from UC Berkeley. She is a film curatorial intern at BAMPFA and works as a programmer for several Bay Area film festivals.

  • Hertha D. Sweet Wong, professor of English and associate dean of arts and humanities at UC Berkeley, teaches and writes about indigenous literatures. Her books include Sending My Heart Back Across the Years: Tradition and Innovation in Native American Autobiography.

Exploring the on-screen representation of Native Americans over the course of forty years reveals varying interplays between how they see and how they are seen. The Silent Enemy, a 1930 feature-length melodrama based on detailed accounts of French missionaries, is a collaboration with Native American actors to recount Ojibwe life as it was before the arrival of European settlers. The educational short Ishi in Two Worlds relates the 1911 journey of the so-called last of the Yahi people from the Sierra foothills to the University of California Museum of Anthropology, where he lived—and was studied. In Geronimo Jones a young Papago-Apache boy torn between tradition and progress contemplates trading a tribal heirloom for a television set. Report from Wounded Knee, a fast-paced polyphonic collage of still and moving images, critiques the 1890 massacre in which three hundred Lakota people lost their lives.

—Margherita Ghetti

Films in this Screening

The Silent Enemy

H. P. Carver, United States, 1930, restored 1970s

FEATURING
Chief Yellow Robe
Baluk
Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance

FILM DETAILS 
Screenwriter
  • Richard Carver
Cinematographer
  • Marcel Le Picard
Language
  • Silent
  • with music track and spoken introduction
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 16mm
  • 67 mins
source
  • BAMPFA

Ishi in Two Worlds

Richard C. Tomkins, United States, 1967

FILM DETAILS 
Based On
  • the book by Theodora Kroeber

Print Info
  • B&W/Color
  • 16mm
  • 20 mins
source
  • BAMPFA

Geronimo Jones

Bert Salzman, United States, 1970

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • Color
  • 16mm
  • 21 mins
source
  • BAMPFA

Report from Wounded Knee

Sidney Theil, United States, 1971

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • Color
  • 16mm
  • 11 mins
source
  • BAMPFA