Tonight at 8/7c we are showing “Last of the Mohicans”. To make this lavish adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s kind of boring yet classic 1826 novel writer-director Michael Mann took a break from contemporary crime thrillers like “Manhunter” to go back in time to the age of colonists and native Americans. The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War. Don’t remember that chapter of American history? We’ll help you out: Its when the French and British armies called on various Native American tribes to join their respective causes as they battled for control of the North American colonies. To make this film a-okay to play in high school history classes (what, ma, it’s educational!) Mann pays careful attention to even the smallest details in recreating the long-gone era, including the weapons, costumes, and settings. But here’s the deal: The whole historical context, including the war between the Huron and Mohican people and the French, was nothing more than a gorgeous and riveting backdrop for what is essentially a lusty gothic romance between Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe), the daughter of a British officer, and Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), a colonial man raised as a Mohican since childhood. Yeah, it’s about Native Americans and a white guy adopted by them, but it’s really a star-crossed love story.
Here are five of our favorite movies about Native Americans that highlight the experience of Native Americans more than a great love between two extremely attractive white people:
5. “The New World” (1995)
4. “Geronimo: American Legend” (1993)
3. “Smoke Signals” (1998)
2. “Atanarjuat : The Fast Runner” (2001)
1. “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (2007)
“Last of the Mohicans” airs tonight at 8/7c; Sunday, Nov. 11 at 10:15 PM ET; and Monday, Nov. 12 at 3:00 AM ET