Squanto: Indian Warrior
Squanto (Adam Beach) is a young Indian warrior whose people live freely in the New World. When a European ship comes ashore to greet the Indians, the white men give them trinkets and say they come in peace. But soon Squanto and other young Indian men are tricked into slavery. Squanto is taken to Europe and delivered to Sir George, who puts his new slave on exhibition as town entertainment. Squanto escapes and is found injured in the English countryside by some Catholic priests. While most of the priests fear Squanto, Brother Daniel (Mandy Patinkin) befriends the stranger. The two teach each other their languages and customs. When Sir George discovers Squanto’s hiding place, Squanto must make another escape, and eventually gains passage on a ship back to the New World. When the Mayflower lands at Plymouth and tensions between the white men and the Indians begin to mount, Squanto must call upon his knowledge of both cultures to build trust and prevent more bloodshed and betrayal. SQUANTO is an entertaining family film which arrives just in time for Thanksgiving.
The film steers clear of the current trend to rewrite history, but continues America’s fascination with primitive people. The Indians are portrayed as noble, while the Europeans are ignorant. The twist in this film, however, is that there are both good and bad Indians, and good and bad Europeans. Sir George and the other white men in the film do not regard the Indians as fully human, but the Christians do. However, SQUANTO tends to imply that all religions are equally valid. The Indians dance while the Pilgrims pray the Lord’s Prayer. In another scene, it is implied that the priests accept Squanto’s Creator as the same God they worship. Such attempts to show parallels between the two religions fails to recognize their differences. Also, Indian ancestor and “Mother Earth” worship are portrayed as legitimate. In one scene, an Indian chief’s son is mistakenly shot by a white man. Parents should also be aware that even though the films violence is obscured, it may be too intense for the very young. SQUANTO has many positive features, but its religious messages could be misleading.