Native American culture is regarded as an important part of the American society, and this is reflected in the many American Indian films that were produced in the past. While some of these movies were little known films, a number of them were major movies that achieved great success at the box office as well as the Oscars.
Perhaps, the most successful American Indian movie of all time is Dances with Wolves, which starred Kevin Costner, and Mary McDonnell. The story revolves around an American Civil War soldier, Lieutenant John Dunbar, who is sent to an outpost in the Dakota Territory. There, he is befriended by an Indian tribe, and he is given the name "Dances with Wolves". Later on, as the army approaches the Indian Territory, Dunbar has to decide whether he will take the side of the army or the Indians. Dances with Wolves won 7 Oscars altogether, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Another well-known American Indian film is The Last of the Mohicans. This movie, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe, relates the touching story of three Indians who risk their lives to protect the daughters of a British Colonel. Other popular Native American movies include Geronimo, Broken Chain, Windtalkers, and Smoke Signals.
There were a great number of American Indian movies that came and went relatively unnoticed, but they were insightful films that touched deeply on various aspects of Native American culture. One particularly enlightening movie is the Lakota Woman - Siege at Wounded Knee, which revealed the true story of a Native American woman's experience of the bloody siege that took place at the Wounded Knee Reservation Camp in 1973. Some other lesser known Indian movies that are interesting to watch include Incident at Oglala - The Leonard Peltier Story, Skins, Soldier Blue, Dreamkeeper, and Spirit Rider.