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Word Count: 1,750
Author Vs Director The French and Indian War of the eighteenth century had uniquely complex qualities matched by the gravity of its outcome The myriad of cultures involved the French Canadian American English Algonquians and Iroquois whom make this era fascinating The multi-ethnic element made it a war built upon fragile alliances often undermined by factional disputes and shifting fortunes Violent as it was its battlefields encompassed some of the most beautiful country to be found anywhere Its richness in diverse cultures the severity of its bloody violence and the beauty of its landscape all combine to make this an era with great depth of interest It is entertaining and educational to witness a re-enactment event of a historical film and novel called The Last of the Mohicans In the wake of the 1992 debates about Columbus the discovery of the Americas and whether terms such as holocaust genocide and racism should be applied to what happened to Native Americans Michael Manns film remake of James Fenimore Coopers The Last of the Mohicans continues a process of historical erasure or forgetting that Cooper and his contemporaries began The sentimental racism expressed in Coopers novel involves the ideas of the auto-genocide of savagery and the inevitable extinction of all Native Americans Though Mann purported to take great pains in his film to be historically accurate the film is only accurate in relation to trivial details It thoroughly scrambles major aspects of Coopers text including converting the aging Natty Bumppo into a young sex symbol Daniel Day-Lewis More importantly the film completely erases Coopers sentimental racism by for instance turning Chingachgook rather than his son Uncas into the last of his tribe and thereby overlooking the motif of the futureless child central to that racism But in eliminating Coopers racism the film in a sense perfects the novel because the sentimentalism that softened the racism was already a form of erasure or forgetting Reading the
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