I'm not a fan of typical Westerns. This movie for me isn't a Western. It's a beautiful story, set in the late 1800s. The movie basically is about Lakota warriors, one of them a chief, sent to an all Black college as a test to see if Indians can learn.There is racism and racist comments directed towards the Lakota warriors, especially by Junius, played By Catero Colbert. He does a fantastic job of making you hate him.
The movie from beginning to end captivated me. I have already watched this movie fives times very recently! Waka Mani(played masterfully by incredible actor, Jay Tavare)is a very proud, honest, rebellious,strong, determined Lakota chief. Tavare's portrayal is so impressive to me because from the minute he appears on screen, he has the viewer in the palm of his hand. The character is multi faceted and colorful.
I also rather enjoyed the love story. It's obvious the two characters, Cleola and Waka Mani are curious about and attracted to each other from their first meeting.
All the players are incredible here. The entire movie is full of rich characters. You get the sense of the strong bond between the Lakota warriors. These are obvious men with strong friendship. There is a sad scene that truly proves that.
Ron Glass is, as always, brilliant in his role as the hard,strict president of the college.
The love story is beautiful. You root for the characters the entire time. There is a very tasteful,sensuous and beautiful love scene in this movie.
My only complaint is that the movie, though two hours was not turned into a mini series. You are left wondering what happened after the two main characters left together.
There is a lot of history here that most of us weren't taught in school. Do yourself a favor and buy this movie.