Article: The Holy Road To Hollywood - The Historical Need For A Sequel To Dances With Wolves

Lee offers insight as to why we need a sequel to Dances With Wolves.

When Dances with Wolves was released, it received praise from many Indian tribes for its depiction of Native Americans. For years films portrayed Indians as aggressive savages. These depictions often focused on violent attacks that resulted in several white men and women loosing their scalps. In simple terms, they were the antagonists. The enemy to the white man. Even outside of film and television it's something that is subconsciously taught to children. Cowboys and Indians. The good guys and the bad guys. True to Michael Blake's novel, Dances With Wolves introduced audiences to a more accurate representation of Native American culture. Many of the savage attacks were in fact retaliations for crimes committed by the bearded mouth white men as they marched their way across the frontier and claimed the land for their own.

In 2001 Michael Blake released The Holy Road, the sequel to Dances with Wolves. The story picks up 11 years after the first book, and focuses on the shrinking world of the frontier as the Comanche struggle to keep their distance from the white men. It's an ugly part of American history that has still yet to be accurately depicted in film. In the last few decades some of the worst crimes against humanity have been brought to the big screen. Films like Schindler's List and The Pianist introduced viewers to the ugly monstrosities of the holocaust, while The Color Purple and 12 Years A Slave focused on the horrors of racism and slavery against African Americans. While these are superb films, they are not feel good movies. They are raw history lessons, and important educational tools that open viewer’s eyes to the atrocities of man.

The Holy Road is certainly more historically significance than Dances with Wolves. While Wolves made for a great film, it's main plot of a man abandoning his culture to join another is an age old tale. The Holy Road introduces the development of the Indian Reservations, and the government's "plan" to help provoke Native American cooperation. It brings to light the near extinction of the American buffalo, and the suffering and starvation that followed as a result. It's the true story of Native American genocide, told from the perspective of the Comanche. It's a sad fate that eventually consumed all Indian tribes in the United States.

There are still films being made today that stereotypically portray Indians as sadistic barbarians who attack, rob, and murder without reason. The truth is many tribes had good relationships with the white man. The two cultures lived in harmony for many years, trading goods with one another until the white man wanted more. An adaptation of Blake's novel would help enlighten modern society on a race that was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice, and the ugly truth of those who enforced it. Most importantly, The Holy Road would serves as a powerful reminder of what man is capable of when he is at his worst.

Michael Blake is currently working on a screenplay for The Holy Road. While Costner has expressed no interest in reprising his role of John Dunbar, Viggo Mortensen's name has been mentioned in casting rumors as an actor who could take over the iconic role.

-Lee Lind