Analyzing for Movie Chinatown, Movie Review Example
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The film Thunder Heart presents the story about the Native American reservation suffering from the divide of power, political corruption, and unfair competition for the land rich in uranium. The industrial mining of uranium is likely to make the life in the region impossible due to the only water source’s contamination. However, even the Native Americans living in the region cannot achieve any agreement about their life principles and goals, which enables the dishonest authorities headed by Frank Cortelle to conduct their uranium-related activity poisoning people in the reservation, and intensifying the conflict in the tribe.
The overall image of the reservation life represents a miserable picture of desolation, absence of any decent life facilities and conveniences, and disorderly suburban planning. There are no water sources besides the river in the region, which poses the survival of the whole reservation under threat when the water in the river becomes poisoned because of seals caused by uranium mining. Therefore, one may see that the principal facility, i.e. water provision, is simply absent in the reservation – people take water from wells, and have to drink it, cook on it, and use it for all other purposes, having no alternative water sources (Thunder Heart, 1992).
The life in the reservation is also organized in a very primitive way, with the majority of Indians occupying small trailers or wooden houses with lack of conveniences. The majority of trailers are located in the desert areas, with no other houses or facilities like banks, shops, or postal offices nearby. The only facility available for Indians depicted in the film is the local hospital; however, it also represents a miserable, rudimentary analogue to hospitals to which the US population of the 21st century is used. When the child of Maggie Eagle Bear is wounded, Ray Levoi takes him and his mother to the hospital; however, while one patient is operated in the hospital, there is no second bed to host another patient, so Levoi has nothing else to do but to free the writing table to put the boy on it to be examined (Thunder Heart, 1992). Thus, one can see how desolated the very notion of social care is in the reservation.
The issue of transportation should also be discussed separately. Throughout the film, the viewer can see people moving along the reservation on their private cars; there is no public transport, and people have only motorcycles or cars to get from one point of the reservation to another one. Hence, there is hardly any care about the centralized public transport system, since the reservation is large, but hosts not many people to use this system. Obviously, the urban planning system would have become a huge relief for Native Americans residing in the reservation in terms of taking their children to school, or helping them get to work without using the car (Thunder Heart, 1992).
The road system is also practically absent; at the end of the film, when Levoi and the police officer of the tribe Walter Crow Horse are pursued by Cortelle and his accomplices, one can see that there is only a central road that has any concrete on it. All other branches are not cemented, and one can hardly imagine how the car or a truck can move on them in rainy weather. Movement along these roads raises very much dust in the air, which is very unhealthy for those living nearby and breathing it. Hence, the road system in the reservation should be the number one priority for the sake of orderly traffic, and health and safety of pedestrians.
The reservation represents a distinct type of suburban planning, since it is located far enough from the major highway, and it is surrounded by mountains and canyons. However, at the same time, one has to note that there is hardly any control for those entering and leaving the reservation, as there are no road signs, no block posts, or anything else that would help to ensure such control. In addition, the very residential measures of the reservation are surrounded by a thin, tiny fence that can hardly stop any thief or intruder. Therefore, the issues of safety are highly neglected in the suburban settlement depicted in the film (Thunder Heart, 1992).
The overall image of the reservation is highly pessimistic, showing in which desolation and absence of basic conveniences Native Americans have to live in order to be able to praise their origin and culture. There are even numerous wigwams, either leather-covered or not, shown in the film, which implies that they serve as the place for sacrifice and spiritual rites, as well as public meetings. The present observation suggests that there are literally no public buildings or places in which people could meet to conduct their regular social life activities (Thunder Heart, 1992).
Obviously, the film Thunder Heart is a very illustrative example of the suburban degradation for the sake of higher, more precious issues that Native Americans try to preserve. They live in the desert, far from other people’s eyes, in order to be able to practice their culture, to conduct their spiritual gatherings, etc. These people are proud of who they are, and they are pushed to the verge of humane existence because of their difference from the mainstream American population. Thunder Heart shows how much neglect currently exists to the interest of Native Americans, and how strong the hatred and divide are between the white people and Indians in the USA. It is obvious that even a half-Indian Ray Levoi becomes welcomed in the tribe only after his blood begins to speak to him; hence, one should realize how strong the discrepancy between normal living standards and the conditions in which Indians exist is nowadays.
The aspects of suburban planning that could simplify the life of Indians in the reservation include the creation of a sustainable road and traffic system, provision of cold and hot running water, and the establishment of decent schools and hospitals. The social care dimension should be essential in the reservation, since Indians also need education and healthcare for the sake of survival and decent living. In addition, the traffic signs, the proper entry control, and more decent physical borders are needed to ensure security in the reservation.
Apted, M. (Prod.), & Nozik, M. (Dir.). (1992). Thunder Heart. Culver City, CA: TriStar Pictures.
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