Transforming Captivity Narratives in Kevin Wilmott's The Only Good Indian (2009)

How to Cite

Mielke, L. L. (2016). Transforming Captivity Narratives in Kevin Wilmott’s The Only Good Indian (2009). American Studies, 55(1), 5-30.


In this essay, I closely examine Kevin Willmott's The Only Good Indian (2009), a post-modern filmic reflection on the Native boarding school experience, to think about how narrative forms associated with captivity of white subjects mutate in the context of institutional violence. In particular, I consider the film's depiction of the boarding school experience in light of American Indian accounts of such; the film's use of the gothic-horror genre to capture the trauma of the boarding school student; and the film's interrogation of the Western genre in light of repressed histories of colonialism.

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