Winter in the Blood is a movie about the life and sufferings of Native American people who live on reservations. As shown in the film, American Indians are oppressed and isolated from the rest of the US population. They have always been discriminated against and harassed, and white people have always demonstrated their “inferior treatment of this ethnoracial group” (A Brief Introduction to Ethnoracial Studies). Indian reservations are unique in their hypocrisy, in which, under the pretext of caring for the needs of the indigenous population, terrible socio-economic backwardness is preserved (Findling et al., 2019). The problems of total alcoholization and alienation are demonstrated in the movie, which starts as the protagonist comes back home from a drunken escapade (Alexie, 2013). For the narrator, as for other indigenous people in the 1960s, the issue of isolation is deeply rooted in the mind. On the example of the protagonist, the viewers can see how those people are alienated not only from the North American culture but also their native community that tries to maintain its traditional lifestyle.
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The majority of Native Americans are illiterate and live in poverty. Their community constantly reminds the US society of the problems facing the inhabitants of the reservations, but protest rarely happen. This is explained by social isolation, combined with laziness and alcoholization of a large part of the population, especially among men. Native Americans are twice as likely to die from alcohol-related accidents, homicides, and suicides than other US citizens (Findling et al., 2019). As shown in the film, life in reservations is filled with social and economic problems. It seems that the US authorities aim to destroy the Native American population through poverty and isolation. Indeed, “the United States is a racist nation” that believes in the superiority of white people over other races (A Brief Introduction to Ethnoracial Studies). Lack of equal employment opportunities, a fair government budget for health care, education, and medical treatment of indigenous people are examples of racial discrimination against Native Americans.
A Brief Introduction to Ethnoracial Studies (n.d.). [PDF document].
Alexie, S. (Producer). (2013). Winter in the blood [Motion Picture]. Kino Lorber.
Findling, M. G., Casey, L. S., Fryberg, S. A., Hafner, S., Blendon, R. J., Benson, J. M., Sayde J. M., & Miller, C. (2019). Discrimination in the United States: Experiences of Native Americans. Health Services Research, 54, 1431-1441.