American indians – Revolution in Geiranger

Al Pacino and a handfull of native american actors went to Geiranger in Norway to shoot scenes for the movie Revolution 1776. This was in 1985. The movie turned out to be a big flop, both financially and critically, but for me it was the greatest experience.

I do not remember why they chose the fjord district of Norway to shoot part of a movie about the American Revolution (1776-1783). And it was kind of strange to suddenly see Al Pacino lurking among the trees, trying not to be seen by journalists. Or discussing with the director, Hugh Hudson. For me it was great, to be surrounded by indians, at last!

I have been interested in the natives of America all since I read a book about the different indian tribes at an very early age. Probably also inspired by old movies. And I went on reading books like Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1970), and seeing films like Soldier Blue (1970). And listening to the heartfelt song of Buffy Sainte Marie: ”Soldier Blue”.

Of the indian actors Graham Greene probably have won most fame since the Revolution movie. Greene, an oneida indian born on the Six Nationas Reserve in Ontario was Academy Award-nominated for his role as Kicking Bird in the film Dances with Wolves (1990).

Actor and stuntman Larry Sellers, of osage, cherokee and lakota heritage, also participated in Revolution 1776. And as in other movie productions there were some breaks. Which was to my advantage, as I got a chance to take these pictures. For me maybe more of an event than beeing next to Al Pacino (who I have to admit I admire a lot as an actor).

This was well before the digital age. I do not remember what camera I used, but it must have been a Pentax or a Canon of a simple kind. I found these black and white negatives recently and had them scanned, and had to remove a LOT of dust afterwards. But now I have my indian pictures. There are some more in my photo-gallery.

Since I wrote this yesterday I found an article in a norwegian movie magazine explaining why Revolution 1776, a film aboutย the American War of Independence, was partially shot in Norway. It was all about money, investments, and a norwegian film industry that wanted to be more international. You can reed more about it in Rushprint from December 2011, (norwegian).

65 thoughts on “American indians – Revolution in Geiranger

  1. Great photos!

    Just a tip, nowadays, out of the respect for people to denominate themselves, the term Indian is not used, since it that was the term that Columbus and his alike used for the people living in the Americas because he thought he had come to India. Instead the term (which you used in your first paragraph) Native American is more polite.

    Sorry about the terminology. It just happens to be somethink that I wrote about in my Master thesis๐Ÿ˜‰

    If you want to read it you will find it in Swedish on http://rastateacher.wordpress.com/

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  2. I have no idea who you are, but these images are stellar. Graham Greene… Wow. I’m off to discover who you are and to learn more about Revolution 1776, which I have never heard of.

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  3. Great Black and White portraits. Glad you were able to scan & clean them up.

    While I agree with Rastaphoto in one sense, the term ‘Native Americans’ may seem more polite to some people in modern times, I believe that if you treat any indigenous race in any country with respect and humanity, then that is what is important.

    White people are ‘white’. Black people are ‘black’. It’s how you use the description of those people in a sentence that denotes respect (or lack thereof) by the person using the term.

    The same with Aborigines (in Australia where I live).

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  4. What a fascinating story, and what wonderful pictures. How lucky you were to have found the negatives.
    And thanks for stopping by my blog, Postcards from Italy!

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  5. As mentioned above several times, fabulous photos and information! Personally, I find Indians/Native Americans incredibly intriguing. I know I have some Indian blood flowing through me (very small amount) and have it on my list to research and better understand.

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  6. Really nice portraits, Bente. The first three are my favorites and I love the strength of character in that profile shot. What film were they shot on?

    By the way, I’ve been living in the Alaskan bush among Athabaskan Indians for the past year. The Athabaskans are true Indian and prefer the term Alaskan Native, although they also refer to themselves proudly as Indians. They do not call themselves Native Americans. The Navaho Indians are descendants of the Athabaskans who long ago headed south searching for a warmer climate. I believe the Native Americans, to use Rastaphoto’s name for them, are really many diverse cultures, each of which may have their own preferred names for themselves and also may have their own sensitivities for the names others assign to them. I have always thought the term Native American sounds very respectful, and I am sure it does to some tribes, but since I moved up here among the Athabaskans, I have come to see that like everybody else, Indians/Native Americans/etc have preferences all their own.

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      1. A long time ago I spent many hours in the darkroom and I loved Ilford films and papers. I miss that. You said you were a journalist and photographer. Do you freelance?

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