Sunday, 7 January 2018

Hostiles - A Study Of P.T.S.D.

Christian Bale
Cinema at 10.30 on a Sunday Morning! Bliss!
The Prof is away and I indulged myself with a good movie.
I went to see Hostiles and it left me reflective and quiet....a sign of a good movie.

Hostiles is a thoughtful and well crafted Study of 19th Century post traumatic Stress disorder. Set amid the brutal end of the Indian Wars the film explores a whole set of characters ( civilian and military) who all are suffering from varying degrees of the condition. Consequently their stories are not an easy watch and after two hours of what feels like abject misery the viewer is left rather exhausted by it all, but the effort is worth it, believe me as the performance by Christian Bale as  Capt  Joseph Blocker , a serial Indian Killer who is entrusted with transporting a dying old enemy Chief Yellow Hawk ( Wes Studi) to his Indian burial ground, is worth the price of the cinema ticket
alone!
Blocker is near retirement and is reluctant to take the assignment on . He spent a career watching and participating in the horrors of the Indian wars and adheres to the maxim of the only good Indian is a dead Indian with almost religious zeal. But as the politicians in the East want to sanitize their treatment of the native Americans he is forced to face his prejudices by having to co operate with Yellow Hawk and his family on the dangerous Journey from New Mexico to Montana.

Rosamund Pike

Add to the mix a traumatised rancher ( Rosamund Pike) who has just lost her entire family by an Indian raid. A suicidal trooper ( Rory Cochran) , who is depressed by his violent military career and a court marshalled prisoner ( Ben Foster) who murdered an Indian family with an axe and you can see where the narrative was going.
Bale is wonderful as the damaged, complicated and in his own way Honourable soldier who has been brutalised by life. His character seesaws between cruelty at his Indian Charges, loyalty and genuine affection for his men and pitch perfect treatment of the traumatised Rosalie Quaid ( Pike) and his scenes with the granite faced Wes Studi are especially powerful and ultimately incredibly moving.



Wes Studi

Unfortunately the Indian characters are less successfully fleshed out with director Scott Cooper sticking to the tried and tested stereotypes of savage killer or Dancing With Wolves nobility. But Studi  's Understated performance complements Bale's nuanced performance well as a mutual respect starts to grow between the two men.

The violence in the movie is pitched just right as it erupts from nowhere in a clumsy confused and totally surprising way typical of a life is cheap time when brutality was everywhere and PTSD was the norm rather than the exception.

Not an easy film to watch but it's worth the effort.

43 comments:

  1. Good you were able to be reflective. I'm afraid I'd just keep staring st Christian Bale....

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    1. He's very hypnotic to watch both in his looks and his acting.

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  2. I want to see that movie too. Wes Studi comes back to Talequah, OK, his hometown often, is a quiet man and stays busy. He is a proud Cherokee and speaks his language fluently. My daughter works for the Cherokee Nation and runs into him from time to time. General Sheraton said the quote, "the only good indian is a dead indian." Horrible man and time. Today, the tribes (over two thousand) have rebounded and are quite wealthy through mainly gaming and their new business ventures.

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    1. I loved your comment Donna and want to hear more fascinating x

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    2. It really depends on the band or nation(up here in Canada there is slightly different terms used).

      Locally several bands are very wealthy due to oil and gas revenues. Unfortunately, the band council often is in charge of the money and it doesn't get spend the way it should.

      Out on the Coast many bands have the majority of fishing and hunting rights. My daughter in law's grandfather is Haida. When they go to visit the Reserve, my son is very easy to locate. The only 6'2 blue eyed blond around. He's made very welcome as he is "family" That band has fishing rights and owns and manages several golf courses.

      Then there are reserves that are poverty stricken and live in third world conditions. Usually fly in/fly out areas.

      It's very hard to decide who is right and wrong in this situation. Every First Nations person in Canada is entitled to a free university education (with seats held for their use) and free medical and dental care. Again it comes down to the band council allocating funds. And not every band leader plays fair.

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    3. Another interesting post. I'm learning a great deal because of a movie

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    4. More than the natives don't play fair. I was driving home from an art show in NY State, twenty years ago. The route was through the Seneca nation. The governor then, I believe Petacke, halted propane deliveries to the suppliers in a dispute over the Seneca's non collection of sales taxes, as a sovereign nation. It was the dead of a bad winter; homes were without heat. The plight absolutely did not make national or even local news. I only knew because I was in the middle of it. How barbaric for a white governor to use such a cruel ploy to enforce a disputed law. Heating/cooking fuel was withheld for most of the winter. I looked, but cannot quickly find any reference to this outrage. At the time it was covered by newspapers of truckers, who also were hurt by the nondelivery of fuel.

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    5. I'm off to google more about this Joanne

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    6. I found only reference to Gov Pataki stopping the delivery of gasoline during this dispute. However it could have escalated to home fuel, I can't find that tho: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/22/nyregion/trying-to-unite-fractured-tribe-while-fighting-state-over-taxes.html

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  3. I'd 'normally' have seen this were it not for the graphic violence of which I've heard so much, so it's off my list now. Although I think I've seen more violent films than most, as I approach (or are already in) my twilight years I'm becoming less attracted to spending money only to get nightmares in return. But your opinion on this is much appreciated.

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    1. The violence isn't bad raymondo ....it's more a psychological study

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    2. If you say so, J.G., though I'd read about scalpings (for instance) being shown. But taking your word for it, I may now give it a go.

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    3. One brief scalp scene that's all

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  4. Haven't been able to watch anything that denotes the cruelty to the Red Indian nation since 'Soldier Blue'.

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    1. It's not as violent as that film strangely enough

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    2. 'Soldier Blue' (way back in 1970) was the first film I ever avoided seeing because of what I'd read about its violence, and I've still never seen it. Even now, nearly 50 years later, I can't say that given the chance I'd yet care to.

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  5. Look at the perfect makeup and hair on the lady with the rifle! Even in extreme conditions it is fantasized that women will look beautifully sexy and immaculate.

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    1. Most of the film she looked a bit rough to be honest

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  6. I have a daughter with PTSD.

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  7. I like a good western.

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    1. Me too....3.10 to Yuma, open range, the missing

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  8. Being the child of a young mother with sisters , I spent a lot of time in movie theaters and luckily I married a man who loved a good movie and sometimes a bad one lol
    I really like Wes Studi
    He is an excellent actor and he reminds me of my uncles.
    Yes my mom had 2 sisters and they married 2 brothers and ....the brothers had a Scottish father and an Alaskan Indian mother.
    So one brother was really good looking and the other one wasn’t lol
    He was the Wes Studi brother lol

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  9. I kinda like wes' granite features

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    1. He has a Real face, full of character and lines and he looks like he has lived. I think that kind of look goes way beyond pretty/handsome etc ..

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  10. Have you read any books by Sherman Alexie? He is a Native American author and poet here in the US. Reservation Blues and Ten Little Indians are favorites of mine.

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    1. I've read reservation blues....

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  11. What a coincidence! I just saw an ad for this film on the TV just this minute - hadn't heard of it before now.

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  12. My son in law suffers PTSD as a result of his horrific time in Afghanistan and Bosnia. My grandson wants to join the military but his stepfather is quite insistant that he choose another career option.
    Our 2xgreat grandfather was from India. He fought in various conflicts with the Foot Rgt. and came home a very broken man. He lived out his retirement sitting in the dark.
    PTSD is a horrific affliction.

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    1. It is.....I have. Nursed many suffering from this but at the time it never had a label .....

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    2. grandpa ,I think, had PTSD after being a war artist at Gallipoli.
      Luckily he was in the Australian Army,who sent him back to Oz and medically retired him with "neurasthenia". Had he been in the english Army,he would have been shot for cowardice....

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    3. So sad but very true

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    4. My father was a veteran of WW11. So many of his friends were alcoholics. BAD alcoholics. Is it any wonder? My father served with a famous author named Farley Mowat. Mr. Mowat wrote a book called "And No Bird Sang". I haven't been able to finish it....

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  13. We saw the trailer for this at the last movie we went to. Much, much too raw for me.

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  14. I just finished watching the latest version of Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley and Jude Law this afternoon. Pretty darned good with great acting, costumes, staging and music. Obviously I liked it.

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  15. NY Governor Pataki put a cap on the price of gas and home heating oil .. and he did a lot for elderly people with the cost of heating oil , promoting an assistance program for the elderly.
    I think you must be thinking of someone else.

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    1. https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/seneca-nation-says-that-thruway-fight-is-only-the-beginning/

      I googled Petaki Seneca nation heating oil and came up with a page, minimum. I was in their I90/Thruway shutdown and spoke to whites and Senecas during that long night.

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  16. Wes Studi has been the evil Indian is too many films, Last of the Mohicans where he told Col. morrow "I will eat your heart" and before the end of the movie--he did.

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    1. He made for a great enemy and mohicans was one of my all time fav films
      " stay alive no matter what occurs I WILL FIND YOU"

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  17. That movie would be too upsetting for me and I fear that I would have PTSD after leaving the theater.

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  18. Review the history of the Seminoles as well as the Miccosukee from Florida.
    Today, because of the casinos, every Seminole tribe memember receives an income which is relatively sizeable. What the white man has done is a disgrace. Our state still owes large amounts of money to the tribes, if I am not mistaken. I can't watch this type of movie no matter how good it may be. They leave me drained and in pain from the horrible cruelties we humans are capable of and of the rampant greed so many exude.

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  19. m4ufree movies - Post civil war frontier America and Christian Bale aka Captain Joseph Blockeris is ordered by the Army to escort a Cheyenne Chief, who has been granted safe passage back to his homeland in Montana, by the President of the United States, due to his terminal illness. Along the way the party encounter wild and dangerous Comanche "Indians". The movie is intense and I surmise Bale will be nominated for an Academy Award for this turn. Wes Studi, as always, as the ailing Chief, is marvelous, understated and ever so powerful. Rosamund Pike is superb as a deranged widow who is collected up by Bale's party. Her presence in the story seems like a distraction from the original mission or orders, but it's a movie and we have to have some man/woman tension and whatever then derives from that, of course. The movie sometimes slows down a bit, and lingers, but it always recovers, and overall - see this movie. And the music score is perfect.

    See more:

    interstellar 123movies

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    annihilation full movie online free

    deadpool 2 full movie

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