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Dances With Wolves

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The film, Dances with Wolves, staring Kevin Costner gives a historically accurate presentation of the Sioux Indians and their way of life. In this production, Lieutenant John Dunbar, played by Costner, is rewarded for his heroic actions in the Civil War by being offered an opportunity to see the American frontier before it is gone. Dunbar is assigned to an abandoned fort where his only friends are a lone wolf and his beloved horse, Cisco. After several weeks of waiting for more American troops, a Sioux Indian makes contact with Dunbar and reports this finding to his chief. This incident sets off a train of events that would forever change John Dunbar and the Sioux tribe he encounters.

When Dunbar realizes that the Indians know where he lives, he becomes extremely paranoid and spends his days preparing the fort for another confrontation. He buries all the extra materials in fear that they might fall into enemy hands. On one of his daily rides around the frontier, Dunbar comes across an Indian woman crying under a tree. He sees the imminent danger from the woman's self-inflicted wounds and determines it is his duty to return the woman to the Sioux camp. Dunbar dresses in his best uniform and shines his boots to prepare for the meeting. When the Sioux spot Dunbar they are immediately alarmed and confront him ready to kill. Kicking Bird, a Sioux holy man and the first Sioux to know of Dunbar's existence, discourages the fight claiming that the white man is not there to fight. Wind In His Hair, a fierce warrior, tears the Sioux women from Dunbar's grasp and the lieutenant is allowed to go freely. That following evening the Sioux council discussed what they would do with their new neighbor and decided that Kicking Bird and Wind In His Hair would revisit Dunbar's fort to find out why he was there.

Dunbar welcomed the Sioux to the fort but was worried of what they planned to do with him. The language barrier was met head on, as neither could understand each other. Using gestures and objects, limited communication was accomplished on the first visit. The Sioux continued to visit Dunbar and each day progress was made. Dunbar taught the Indians some of the white culture and Kicking Bird was anxious to discover why he was in their territory and how many more white men would come. Both sides were forced to overcome the language barrier and their mutual fear and distrust of one another. But as they did, Dunbar and the proud Indians gradually became friends. The visits enhanced the relationship and Dunbar was eventually invited to the Sioux village to discuss with more Indians. At the village, Dunbar was reunited with the woman he found on the prairie, Stands With A Fist, and she became the interpreter between the two sides. This made it much easier for the Sioux and John Dunbar to communicate and substantial progress was made between the two. Dunbar then came to the conclusion that the Indians were not just beggars and thieves, but he actually enjoyed their company.

Early one morning, Dunbar felt what seemed to be an earthquake. He ran outside to see hundreds of thousands of buffalo stampeding past the fort. Dunbar then jumped on his horse and rode to the Sioux village to inform them of the good news. Although he wasn't welcomed warmly, when the Sioux realized what Dunbar was telling them another celebration broke out. From that moment, Dunbar felt as a celebrity among the Indians and the majority of them accepted him. Dunbar participated in the buffalo hunt and saved the life of a young Sioux boy by killing a buffalo that was charging towards him. That evening, Dunbar took the some of the first steps to becoming one of the Sioux. He traded away his soldier jacket and hat for Indian goods and joined in on the feast and celebration of a successful buffalo hunt. Dunbar no longer saw these



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