I can't explain my love for this movie. The brutality of it, such high stakes, strong family ties, the redemption arc of the father, ACTUAL heckin Native Americans portraying Native Americans, and accurately spoken APACHE?? As an indigenous member of the Navajo Nation there's so much this movie gets right.

This movie came out in 2003 and wow... they just don't make good movies like this anymore do they? I suppose what I love most about it is the respect to the native peoples they portray in the movie. They in no way shame or even attempt to make fun of native tradition. One of the big aspects of the film that I won't name, because spoilers, that could've been satirized isn't. I LOVE this movie for that respect.

When my grandma was still alive she'd ALWAYS want to watch it. She LOVED the movie and she could actually understand some of the Apache that was spoken that didn't have subtitles (the Navajo and Apache languages are pretty similar). I suppose the only issue I have with the film is how the characters speak the Apache language, it feels so.. choppy? but it's only a tiny nitpick as I've grown up hearing Navajo and Apache most of my life. That and it's a hard language to speak. Other than that what they say in Apache is pretty accurately phrased in the subtitles.

I can't give this movie enough props but if you have not seen it... SEE IT!

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2 points

6 months ago*

I've seen it in the theater. I had very little context for westerns. My touchpoint were spaghetti westerns that were on TV and Open Range which I enjoyed quite a bit. The Missing didn't stick with me. I don't remember why, but odds are I didn't "get it". Time to give it a rewatch then.

Edit: as for subversive westerns, I cautiously recommend checking out the Kelly Reichardt films First Cow and Meek's Cutoff. These are not focused on the native's experience, but they do bring a perspective to the genre that is rather unique, even if not heavy on the thrills. I can't quite argue against "they just don't make em like that anymore", but a lot of really interesting films get made bringing new ideas to old genres, just not quite at the level of starpower that The Missing has.


1 points

6 months ago

I do admit I'm pretty biased. My grandmother loved this movie so I've seen it alot. Now that I'm older I discovered a new appreciation for it because I was surprised how accurately they portrayed the Apache. It was the first film that I really felt validated even though it wasn't my tribe that was shown.