Saturday, 27 March 2010
Thirty seven years today, the 27th March 1973, Sacheen Littlefeather, a young activist from the Apachi tribe, showed up at the Oscar ceremony, wearing the national costume of her people.
The reasons given were the ill – treatment of Native Americans in the American Movie Industry and the massacre of the Sioux on 29 December 1890 at the battle of the Wounded Knee.
I will not deal with the malicious comments made such as that she was not a real Indian – she is still refuting them nowadays (2) – or with the criticism against Marlon Brando for not having the courage of a confrontation and the ensuing booing, since his opinions in favour of the Native Americans were already known.
It is interesting though, that the Oscar podium, the brightest ceremony in show biz, became the scene where old scores with the past and the continued injustice of the present required settlement.
Doubtless, the theatrality of the gesture of Littlefeather, even as a show off, a small crescendo, relates, although different, to that of the Sioux Chief, Sitting Bull, when he took off his own person in the famous show “Wild West”.
Pictures from the internet: