AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents a provocative anthology of five inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking stories, highlighting Native ingenuity and resilience over the course of three hundred years and upending stereotypes of American Indians as simple ferocious warriors or peaceable lovers of the land. Award-winning veteran filmmakers come together in this innovative project to knit centuries of history into the fabric of America. Available as a series (5x90) or as individual films (1x90).
AFTER THE MAYFLOWER: In New England in 1620, at the time of the so-called "first Thanksgiving". Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag, negotiated a diplomatic alliance with a scraggly band of English Pilgrims for the benefit of his people, though a half-century later, as brutal war flared between the English colonists and a confederation of New England Indians, the wisdom of his choice seemed less clear. 1x90
TECUMSEH: Director Ric Burns tells the story of the Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his brother, Tenskwatawa, known as the Prophet. In the years following the American Revolution, the Prophet led a spiritual revival and prompted a pan-Indian political and military alliance, coming closer than anyone since to creating an independent Indian state. 1x90
TRAIL OF TEARS: Director Mark Zwonitzer explores the resolve and resilience of the Cherokee Nation, who resisted removal from their homelands in the Southeast in every way they knew: assimilating, adopting a European-style government and legal system, accepting Christianity and even taking their case to the US Supreme Court. 1x90
GERONIMNO: At the end of the Indian Wars, near the close of the nineteenth century, desperate times catapulted a controversial character to the leadership of an Apache band. To angry whites, Geronimo was an archenemy, the perpetrator of unspeakable savage cruelties. To some Apaches, his actions brought the enemy's wrath upon them.
To his supporters, he remained the embodiment of proud resistance, leading the last Native American fighting force to surrender to the US government. 1x90
WOUNDED KNEE: Director Stanley Nelson tells the gripping story of the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee, examining the political and economic forces that led to the emergence of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s. For 71 days, activists engaged in a standoff with the US government, bringing the nation's attention to the desperate conditions on Indian reservations and, in the process, creating a pan-Indian identity and a new path into the future. 1x90
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