Squanto: A Warrior's Tale

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Squanto: A Warrior's Tale
Squantoposter.jpg
Directed by Xavier Koller
Christopher Stoia
Produced by Kathryn F. Galan
Written by Darlene Craviotto
Starring Adam Beach
Sheldon Peters Wolfchild
Irene Bedard
Eric Schweig
Leroy Peltier
Michael Gambon
Nathaniel Parker
Alex Norton
Mark Margolis
Julian Richings
Music by Joel McNeely
Cinematography Robbie Greenberg
Editing by Lisa Day
Gillian Hutshing
Studio Walt Disney Pictures
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates October 28, 1994 (theatrical release)
Running time 102 minutes
Country USA
Language English
Box office $3,337,685

Squanto: A Warrior's Tale is a 1994 theatrical live action Disney adventure drama film. It was written by Darlene Craviato. Xavier Koller and Christopher Stoia were the directors. It is very loosely based on the actual historical Native American figure Squanto, and his life prior to and including the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620. It stars Adam Beach as the lead role of Squanto. It was originally released theatrically on October 28, 1994 and was shot entirely in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Walt Disney Video released Squanto on VHS June 20, 1995. This movie was released on DVD September 7, 2004.

Plot[edit]

Set in the early 17th century, a New England Patuxet is captured by English settlers. He is then taken to England but escapes with a group of men, along with Epenow, a Nauset from Martha's Vineyard who was also captured by the English.

When the English ship arrives in Plymouth England, Squanto and Epenow are considered as slaves after meeting the employer of the crew, Sir George. As a welcome, Squanto gets thrown in a ring with a giant bear. Their battle becomes a spectacle for the English.

Squanto is able to escape, and soon after escapes in a row boat. When he's discovered, he's lying unconscious on a rocky shore, and soon found by a trio of monks who had been fishing.

Squanto is taken into their monastery, in spite of the reluctancy of head Brother Paul. The monk who offers the most open arms, Brother Daniel, becomes a mentor and friend to Squanto. From Brother Daniel, Squanto learns English, and at the same time, he imparts some knowledge about his world to his new housemates, introducing them to moccasins and popcorn. Brother Paul remains skeptical of 'the pagan' and in any possibility of a "New World".

Meanwhile, Sir George firmly believes that Squanto belongs to the Plymouth printing company, and he has men on the hunt. In another cinematic sequence, Squanto pulls off an improbable escape to accompany Epenow and the crew setting sail back to America.

What Squanto returns to devastates him. His tribe has been entirely killed off by illness that the Europeans brought. Epenow wishes to turn violent against the English who mistreated them. The Englishmen and Nauset tribe are ready to do battle, but Squanto manages to settle things peacefully. The last scenes of the film portray the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Cast[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • The native language used in the film is Mi'kmaq, historically spoken in Nova Scotia but not Massachusetts. The film has been criticized for its historical inaccuracies. Incidentally, the following year Disney released Pocahontas, an animated film which was also about a historical Native American figure, Pocahontas, and was also highly criticized for its distortion of history. Both films also featured Native American actress Irene Bedard in starring roles.
  • Two years earlier, Schweig portrayed Black Thunder in CBC's mini-series By Way of the Stars with Gordon Tootoosis who voiced Kekata in Pocahontas. It later aired on the Disney Channel.
  • Sioux actor, Sheldon Peters Wolfchild met Schweig again for The Scarlet Letter in 1995. During that same year, Schweig portrayed Tom and Huck's antagonist, Injun Joe.
  • Beach and Bedard were also cast members for "Song of Hiawatha" (1997) which starred Litefoot as the titular role. It was shot in British Columbia.
  • Beach and Schweig met again for HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee in 2007.

External links[edit]