In other words: what does the movie with Leo Dio and the bear have in common with my world today?
There is a movement known as Stand with Standing Rock that has been formed by the Sioux tribe of North Dakota protesting the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline which will be built above the Standing Rock reservation in which they live. There has been a hold on the building process for the pipeline for the government to discuss “with tribes how “to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights” and whether new legislation should be put in place to pursue those goals” (Guardian).
The land is protected by the government for the Sioux, yet they do not know whether to breach that policy and let a corporate industry possibly contaminate their water sources. Though the US gives Native tribes land to live with little government interaction, situations likes these reinforce the fact that the government still has control over them no matter how much “freedom” may be granted to them.
This underlying sense of control reminds me strongly of the situation with the character Hawk from The Revenant (yes, with Leonardo DiCaprio and the bear).
Hawk is Hugh Glass’s (DiCaprio’s) son who is half native
from his mother. His mother is no longer alive in the movie due to what seems to be the pillaging of her village, and so Glass takes care of him while on an expedition with other European men. Throughout the first part of the movie, Hawk faces both subliminal and direct racist remarks from a man named Fitzgerald. Though Hawk is not subjected to being terrorized by the men who are capable of terrorizing the other native people in the area, he still faces oppression and resentment within his freedom. Like the Sioux of Standing Rock are fully aware of, they are subjected to being under the control of the US government. If the DAPL is passed, it will only reinforce the fact that the “European men” who took their land in the time that The Revenant is set in and before are still in control.