Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson is a stinging work that fatally penetrates the false image of the American West created by racist propaganda & the US's genocide of Native Americans. Depicting Sitting Bull's imprisonment to Buffalo Bill in exchange for his 'performing' in Bill's insipid circus, the film shows the 2 leaders & their parties colliding in their views of the country [cont.]
As an attack on the Western's place in American culture, this is more vicious than McCabe and not as good—surely, the two are connected. But even if it's a minor film, stretched thin on a lack of subtlety, it's full of touches of inspiration that could only come from a talent at its peak. Shout outs to Geraldine Chaplin as Annie Oakley, and to an ending that manages to be both brutally cynical and soulfully elegiac.
Myth-making to disguise a genocide and myth-making to recalibrate the truth. A film can be politically conscious with a message (critical of "dressing up" history with a white face) yet unconsciously replicate the ideology it's critiquing. The stars are Newman, Keitel, Grey, and Lancaster. Sitting Bull is just backstory.
D'un accès difficile pour un public guère habitué à ce genre de traitement de déconstruction, le film complète la démarche dénonciatrice d'un Altman, toujours aussi présent dans le dévoilement des aliénations de notre société. Certaines scènes ne sont pourtant pas toujours à la hauteur de la démarche... www.cinefiches.com