Red Haircrow

An award-winning writer/poet, educator/activist, counselor and chef of Native American descent (Chiricahua Apache/Cherokee) who lives in Berlin, Germany. Red Haircrow holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, and is a Graduate Student at Montana State University Bozeman. Flying With Red Haircrow Productions is Red’s multimedia consultation company. All comments, feedback and inquiries can be directed to theredhairedcrow at



Filed under Native American, Writing and Writers

#Native Perspectives- #Film #Review: “The Last Saint” (2014)


Tagline: “Sometimes doing right means doing wrong.”

Special Notes: Debut feature film from the director.

Director/Writer: Rene Naufahu
Stars: Beulah Koale, Calvin Tuteao, Joseph Naufahu
Production Companies: Imaginex Studios, The Reservoir

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Release Date: August 28, 2014

Plot: “Minka is a teenage Polynesian boy living in the heart of the city. With his P-addicted mother well on the way to going completely off the rails, three people enter his life – each with a promise – each with the power to destroy.”


“Minka lives in a home where his mother obviously loves him, but who suffers from emotional and mental disorders due to domestic violence and intergenerational trauma. She has long attempted to self-medicate through substance abuse, triggering episodes where she terrorized and abused her son leaving him traumatized as well. Like many children in such homes, however, he is deeply devoted to her, serving as a keeper, a parent, his own childhood lost through having to take care of both her and himself, a lonely existence.

When his long absent father Joe returns offering him work, his mother having used all their funds on drugs, Minka accepts, not knowing what it really involves. Soon, the reality of the ‘requirements’ hits hard, leaving Minka between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’. While he might gain a sense of belonging through the gang and attempts at ‘normalizing the family, the ‘live skills’ Joe attempts to teach him and the casual, terrible violence and aggression often involved makes him question where will it all end. When tragedy occurs, Minka finds the answer for himself.

An emotional, intense “coming of age” drama that touches on minority on minoritiy prejudice, and looks into the complexities and complications of life as a minority, in which even as a youth, some are more often required to make brutal adult choices when all they want is a life like anyone else. A movie about the substitutions one makes when basic life needs are absent: the freedom to have a childhood, a nurturing home and regard as a human being simply wanting to belong and be loved.” A solid 8 out of 10.

* * * *


Another drama about dysfunctional native or indigenous families, about compensations, about substitutions, about adaptations. There are things everyone, no matter their ethnicity look for or need in some form: a nuturing family life, meaning, belonging, a sense of place and work that satisfies and gives meaning. And all children need childhood in its time.

Historically in native families and groups, warriors were the teachers of the young males, of life skills, of necessities and the honing abilities, guiding them in a good way. An instinctual, necessary function along with testing and meeting challenges. In the contemporary world, for a variety of reasons, many indigenous are more often forced to move in different cultures and societies than their own where there are different requirements, expectations and what may be deemed weaker more dishonest ways of obtaining a living (through using others), especially for males, the warrior function is frustrated.

Frustration, injustices and disrespect, both real and perceived, systematic racism and oppression stoke the fires of a rage that more often lashes out at family and friends. The need to control their own destiny by whatever means, with a stong dose of fatalism, some do so using a medium arguably used to keep minorities subdued and otherwise distracted and “occupied”: the drug industry.

The film was very hard to watch at times because it brought up memories of growing up, of seeing people and places like this, so it is authentic in that, brilliantly acted by young Beulah Koale.

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Native Perspectives: #Film Review “Bone Tomahawk” (2015)


“Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers.”

Writer/Director: S. Craig Zahler

Released: 23 October 2015

Starring: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins
To read the full review of “Bone Tomahawk”, please visit my profile at IMDb:

“Russell, Fox and Jenkins give realistic, believable portrayals in their roles. Facing danger and death with the stoicism and dry wit historically attributed to many European settlers, as well as the historic though understated bigotry towards any non-whites one character voiced. Russell was on-point, his expressions and reactions excellent as Sheriff Hunt, and his “back-up” deputy Chicory played by Richard Jenkins and he had personal dynamics that really made the film.

Deaths were very, very graphic both visually and audibly in a stark brutally simplistic way. There is nothing of comedic horror in this film, of absurdity or “bloodshed for fun”. The setting, the “reality” of their situation were harsh and horrific in the exact sense of that word, and though tagged as “horror” in genre, it’s not one I would personally apply. While I didn’t care for the typical “settler heroes” vs. “savages” theme, the comment by a Native American in the film, “Those are not MY people!” provided some relevant clarity and truth that all indigenous are not homogeneous, in past or present.

The only irritating part I found was Lili Simmons’ “Mrs. O’Dwyer”: a naturally young, very beautiful and highly skilled doctor who has lived in the west with her husband but still has to ask, “Are those gunshots?” The sex scene between her and her husband was the only gratuitousness I found in the film. Not opposed at all to sex, but it definitely seemed out of character with the rest of the film, and in my opinion was a crude way to show this woman was unconventional, different, and more likely to survive without fainting in a fit of vapors. Along with the end song, after setting such a gritty, touching western of determined courage in the face the unknown, those aspects lessened  a higher rating for me. For those not used to or cannot handle such graphic visuals, the story itself is compelling enough to close your eyes at those points, because you don’t want to miss this unforgettable tale with overall great acting performances.


It’s been researched and statistically proven that films (though fictional) do influence beliefs and stereotypes about other peoples and cultures in the majority population, many of whom actually have little personal, extended experience with minorities. Not just on the job. Not just in class. In actual interpersonal or immersive experience with minorities. This is one of the strong reasons why they also seem not to see racism or racist activities or attitudes in daily life even if clearly identified by minorities or those from the majority who do or have.


That perspective is what I would begin any review of a film that has “natives” in it, especially if it is a western, of which many still is set with the European settlers as heroes and any non-Europeans or natives as their adversary, primitive, brutal, or at best a helper/guide or sidekick to whites. Besides the conversational or confrontational discussions many of us have had countless times on why always showing the European perspective of natives, it takes away natives having their own voice, control of their identities, and certainly their cultures, traditions and beliefs.

Hollywood and filmmakers historically and today continue reduce natives to stereotypes, statistically, definitely proven to be harmful to them, and misinforms yet again generation of non-natives who apathetically or aggressively dismiss native concerns. Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous Six”, Eli Roth’s “Green Inferno”, Germany’s “New Winnetou” are just a few among many wrong, unethical and simply warrantless ugly portrayals of the indigenous. “Bone Tomahawk” has a problematic theme in this way as well, and deserves discussion.


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DONE! #Indigenous Representation in #Film Rostock, A Workshop November 2015

At the annual festival in Rostock, Germany, my workshop on representation in film. Presentations are in Microsoft PowerPoint. Click on the link of the titles below to dl/view the presentation. It occured at Peter Weiss Haus in Rostock, Germany,held by Elements e.V.


Representation of Indigenous ENG

Repräsentationen Indigener

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Filed under Events, Germany, Indigenous, Native American, Pacific Islander