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Tommy Lee Jones Says 'The Homesman' Doesn't Stereotype Pawnee Indians

Tommy Lee Jones says that his western film 'The Homesman,' currently showing at Cannes, does not depict Indians stereotypically.
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Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars in The Homesman, a film set in the American West that is playing at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. At IMDB, the film's plot is described thusly: "A claim jumper and a pioneer woman team up to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa."

At one point in the movie, the characters are attacked by a raiding party of Pawnee Indians. In an interview with The Guardian, Jones discussed whether the depiction was stereotypical. "I don't have any concerns about that whatsoever," he said. "The actors were all Native Americans of Pueblo descent … I was proud they ... looked like Pawnees, and not ashamed of the fact they were considered by our characters potentially to be homicidal. We're not bending the truth, or stereotyping anybody. That's the last thing we want to do."

In the past, Jones has said that he has Cherokee ancestry, and interestingly enough signaled his interest in directing a TV series about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football program.

Jones also told The Guardian that current film The Homesman is "a consideration of the history of western expansion; a way of looking at what the schoolchildren of America learn when the subject of manifest destiny comes up."

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