Independent Films, Film Profiles
Thunderheart is a 1992 American mystery film directed by Michael Apted with Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, Graham Greene, and Fred Ward. Val Kilmer plays an FBI agent with Sioux heritage investigating a murder on a Native American reservation. Graham Greene, a full Oneida Indian from Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada, plays tribal police officer Walter Crow Horse.The film is a fictionalization based on true events (see Wounded Knee incident), including the rise of the American Indian Movement. In particular, the character Jimmy Looks Twice (played by John Trudell) is modeled on the appearance of native American activist Bob Robideau and the story of Leonard Peltier, who like Jimmy, was sought by the FBI for the murder of two FBI men and was eventually arrested and removed from the reservation. The film gives a very positive reading to the Leonard Peltier story, suggesting not only his innocence with respect to the murders, but also a visionary charisma and a mystical, almost saintlike, acceptance of sacrifice and martyrdom.Apted was intrigued by the actual events behind the film and also Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Apted also made a documentary about the subject, Incident at Oglala.
Year of Production: 1992
Length: 119 min
Country: United States
- Michael Apted
- Robert De Niro, John Fusco, Michael Nozik, Jane Rosenthal
- Val Kilmer, Graham Greene, Sam Shepard, Fred Dalton Thompson, Sheila Tousey, Fred Ward, Dennis Banks, John Trudell