The 1491s: Film Analysis

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Bobby Wilson, Ryan Red Corn, Dallas Goldtooth, Migizi Pensoneau, and Sterlin Harjo are not familiar names to most, but they will be some day. The insanely funny sketch comedy group call themselves The 1491s. Comedy is a form of creative art, and requires the talent, but that is not what is being addressed in this research paper. The group is gaining popularity through their videos and Director Sterlin Harjo has played a small part in some of the filmmaking process. The 1491s’ short films use sarcasm, critiques of non-native Americans, and white society’s expectations of what qualifies as Indian culture. Economic, social, and political issues are used as a template for The 1491s commentary on modern day race relations. The film makers use…show more content…
The 1491s come with a video titled The Indian Store, and with this fashion is revisited. The actors/store keepers use their whit and sarcasm to assist in helping this short film come across as sarcastic. Susan Scafidi titles some of her research, “Culture is fluid, and today's taboo may be tomorrow's trend”. Watching the short comedic film, the viewer realizes white people have romanticized and fetishized what it means to be an Indian through their own intake on pop culture, making it “cool” to be an Indian. The modern day Native American store keepers even buy into the theme, by changing their wardrobe before the store’s opening…show more content…
To better explain the mockery found in The Indian Store, the storekeepers pull out different items to a woman shopper. Let us say she purchases a pair of lovely moccasins showcased. Scafidi tells the non-native to ask some questions, “What's the significance of the necklace you're about to put on: is it just jewelry or a set of prayer beads? Did the source community invite you to wear that traditional robe, perhaps via voluntary sale, and does the community still suffer from a history of exploitation, discrimination or oppression? And how similar is that designer adaptation to the original: a head-to-toe copy, or just a nod in the direction of silhouette or pattern?”

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