Pilgrim movies are usually positive films about how European settlers outcast from their old country came across the Atlantic and learned to coexist with the Native Americans, starting Thanksgiving together and founding America. If you've studied history at all, you know this is completely inaccurate revisionist history, as the Pilgrims may have gotten along with the natives for a short time before the Americans pushed them out of their territories, killed most of them, and then relegated them to reservations. Not exactly cheery, feel-good stuff. However, there are a few films that get it right and we've got them listed here. Just don't watch them at Thanksgiving.
"The New World"
This excellent movie from visionary director Terrence Malick follows some of the first Pilgrims and explorers on the East Coast of America. Colin Farrell and a pretty Native American girl (who is actually Hawaiian in real life) have a love affair, before they come to realize, quite artistically, that their cultures cannot coexist.
"The Last of the Mohicans"
An excellent war film about the early exploration of the new world and the French and Indian war, in which the British and the French jockey for control of the North American territory. This film made Daniel Day Lewis the movie star he is today as well as a major sex symbol, even though he doesn't look the least bit like a Native American.
This History Channel documentary mini-series tells the little known, real-life story of the Pilgrims crossing of the Atlantic to the New World. They hold no punches and tell of the ultimately harsh relationship between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, seeds of which led to the natives' ultimate demise.
"Mayflower: The Pilgrim's Adventure"
Starring Anthony Hopkins and Robert Crenna, this narrative film tells of the Pilgrims' decision to leave their homeland and head to America, along with all the challenges they met along the way. As the Pilgrims are the heroes in the film, they are ultimately the bad guys, pushing the natives to do their will. Their arrival alone signals the beginning of the end of the Native Americans.
"Squanto: A Warrior's Tale"
This Disney film that is painfully historically inaccurate tells the tale of Squanto, the famous Native American warrior before, during, and after the Pilgrims arrive in 1620. While both the Pilgrims and Squanto are the heroes in this film, there are underlying messages about how the Native Americans are in trouble now that the white man has arrived. As with most Disney films, it's important to look below the surface.
"Little Big Man"
This Dustin Hoffman classic shows how Americans abused and destroyed Native American culture. Hoffman's character realizes what is happening and realizes he can do nothing to stop it. This is the aftermath of the Pilgrims' arrival in the New World and what ultimately happened to Native American culture and life.