Native American Literatures
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Native American Literatures Spring 2008 Maija Naakka 77202 Identity and the Notion of Home in Michael Apted’s Thunderheart 1. Introduction This essay intends to take a closer look at the way identity and the notions of home and homecoming are depicted in Thunderheart (1992), a film by the British director Michael Apted. The identity in question is that of an FBI-agent who is one-quarter Sioux on his father’s side and to whom his Native heritage is a shameful burden he would rather hide. This weight of heritage, however, begins to appear to him in a new light after he is sent to conduct a murder investigation on a reservation located in South Dakota. There he for the first time in his life actually encounters life on a reservation and slowly comes to terms with his own history. Unfortunately I was not able to find as much previous work written on Thunderheart as I assumed, but with the help of some background material, I will try to examine how the changes in the main character’s sense of self are represented as the film progresses and what kind of tools the director uses to convey this to the viewer. Furthermore, the notions of home and homecoming are also present and the idea of home seems to change during the two hours of the film.