A Good Day to Die FILM REVIEW

In this unit, we are reading a book chapter again, not from the textbook. Below, you will find the Prologue (or Introduction) to David Treuer’s book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee. The title is a play on a classic book called Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. This older book, as Treuer describes it, looks at Native American history and societies as if they ended with the Battle of Wounded Knee and the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. In his own book, Treuer intends to provide a more contemporary picture of Native Americans, Native American life, and introduce the reader to the stories of individual people and tribes. The “Prologue” will provide some of that for you.

We are reading this chapter because we very rarely spend much time learning about the experiences and issues that indigenous peoples had during the colonization of the United States and today. This is a great way to get introduced to the topic area. It also builds on what you learned in chapter 5, in the section “Rural America.”

Our full-length film in this unit is A Good Day to Die, which details the American Indian Movement (AIM). Similarly to the Black Panthers, AIM organized Native Americans from all over the country to fight for indigenous and land rights, against police brutality and profiling, and the treatment of the U.S. indigenous population. AIM arose out of the Civil Rights Movement, when Native Americans realized that the Civil Rights Movement was not including their concerns. You may be most familiar with the occupation of Alcatraz Rock in 1969-71, which created much attention for AIM.


1. Read The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee-E book(I havel put it in the attachment)

2. Watch the film A Good Day to Die and complete the following questions.

3. Write Applied Paper.

Application paper requirements:

The documentary A Good Day To Die is about the American Indian Movement (AIM), a very strong and important social movement in the 60s and 70s that often does not find representation that captures its actual foci and achievements. After watching the documentary you have learned what it’s title stands for. You also read Treuer’s “Prologue.”

Guiding Prompt: What stood out most to you in the “Prologue” and in the film? Do you believe that AIM was successful in reaching their goals (yes or no)? Use examples from the book and the film to support your answer.

Applied papers: In this applied paper, you are asked to respond to the provided prompt, using the readings and films, and to add some of your own research. Each paper should be about 2 pages long, double-spaced (about 500 words) and address the provided prompt in the following manner:

1. Introduction. What is this unit’s topic about? Respond to the prompt by identifying specific sections in the readings and films that speak to the topic.

2. Research. Identify an artifact or example that highlights the topic in concurrent society. For example, find an article or artifact from at least two places: An American news source, a piece of art (music, written, paint, etc.), an international news source (in English language), or something else relevant that may provide an example or argument that relates to the topic. Some news sources are provided in the course shell in the left-hand menu. However, you may find a different item that would help underscore the issue or your argument.

3. Conclusion. Here, you tie the readings, film, and your found article/item together. What is your take-away in response to the prompt? What are you making of this issue after having done some research?

4. Discussion questions: Provide three (3) discussion questions that you would like your classmates to respond to.

Always cite your sources and provide references at the end of your paper.

Movie’s link: https://bblearn.nau.edu/ultra/courses/_220475_1/cl…

After logging in, click on Course Soc-215, and then in the sidebar, select Unit 11: What is American Minentand Manifest Destiny? Slide down and you can watch the movie.



Who are the main leaders of AIM portrayed in the film? Name three.


What were the key demands that AIM made; what were they fighting for? Provide at least three examples.


What kind of methods (information gathering) were used in the film? How did they compile all the information that is portrayed?


What is the role of women as portrayed in the film? Do you think their role is sufficiently documented?


Why did the American Indian Movement end? Did they achieve their goals? Explain.

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