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White men do it again

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Leda Kim

on 10 August 2016

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Transcript of White men do it again

Native Americans are magic...
Captain John Smith leads a rag-tag group of English soldiers and sailors to the New World in order to plunder its lands for England under the direction of Governor Ratcliffe. Meanwhile, on the banks of the "New World," Chief Powhatan has promised his 18 year-old daughter, Pocahontas, to Kocoum, the village's greatest warrior. Pocahontas, a free spirit, finds another path. Upon meeting with her Grandmother Willow, she sees a vision of a spinning arrow on a compass and takes it as a sign that change is coming- that it will come to a fork in a river, if you will. Over the tree tops she sees the English ship landing near her village. Between Governor Ratcliffe, who is plagued by the belief that the "savages" are hoarding the gold of the land, and Powhatan, who believes the pale newcomers will lead to the destruction of their land, John Smith and Pocahontas must prevent an all-out war, all the while preserving their love for one another.
Full of breathy woodwinds and and contrasting drumming, the soundtrack is a a fantastic representation of the natural American landscape. "Colors of the Wind", written by Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken for Walt Disney Pictures, is the title track for the film. It went on to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Grammy. The soundtrack itself also won the Academy Award for Best Musical or Comedy Score, and sold 2.3 million copies forthe last two months in 1995 alone. Described as a "stirring anthem to animism," "Colors of the Wind" is Pocahontas' call to Captain John Smith about the wonders nature and the earth have to offer. The rest of the soundtrack is much of the same, featuring the Native American Flute and a steady melodic plucking of a violin.
"Colors of the Film"
The film is full of greens, purples, and blues, emphasizing the natural beauty of the nature. These cooler colors are punctuated by bright pinks, glowing red flames, and the more "refined" clothing of the English (especially John Smith's armor and metal guns.
The Representation of Nature
In the film, nature is personified as a living breathing entity, directing Pocahontas to her future, and bringing change to her world. In the film, nature is its own kind of purity, beautiful, and guiding. During the singing of the title track, "Colors of the Wind," she says she know that "every rock and tree and creature/ Has a life, has a spirit, has a name..." Pocahontas is seen running barefoot through the forest.
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