White Fawn's Devotion

1910 silent short film

White Fawn's Devotion: A Play Acted by a Tribe of Red Indians in America is a Silent movie. It was filmed in 1910, in the United States. James Young Deer wrote and directed the film, but is not credited for this. His wife, Lillian St. Cyr is credited for playing Princess Red Wing as "White Fawn". The lead woman does not fit St. Cyr's description, so few people believe she played in the movie. The movie was shot in New Jersey at 24fps.[1]

White Fawn's Devotion
Directed byJames Young Deer (uncredited)
Written byJames Young Deer (uncredited)
StarringPrincess Red Wing
Distributed byPathé Frères
Release date
June 18, 1910
Running time
11 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent
White Fawn's Devotion: A Play Acted by a Tribe of Red Indians in America

White Fawn's Devotion is the earliest surviving movie directed by a Native American. It was one of the earlier movies the French movie company Pathé shot in America. A reviewer in the New York Dramatic Mirror wrote that the movie "proves to be interesting if we can forget the New Jersey scenery" and noted that "it is not quite clear where the devotion comes in, nor of what it consists.".

In 2008, the movie was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[2][3]

Plot change

When a settler in the Dakotas learns that he will inherit a large fortune, his Native American wife is upset. Believing that she will lose her husband if he returns East, she stabs herself with a knife. Her husband finds her and removes the knife, but their daughter sees him with the knife in his hand and her apparently dead mother. The girl believes that her father committed the murder, and alerts the nearby Indian village. Several Indians then chase the settler. When the settler is captured, the Indians intend to put him to death until White Fawn miraculously comes to life again. She tells the truth to the Indians. This ending, in which an interracial couple ends up together, is a rare occurrence for this period of film production.[4]

Production change

James Young Deer (also known as J. Younger Johnston or James Young Johnson) was believed to be the first Native American film director. His ancestors were members of the Nanticoke people of Delaware.[5] Young Deer was hired by Pathé Frères as a director and scenario writer and frequently worked in collaboration with his actress wife Lillian St. Cyr, also known by her stage name Princess Red Wing. He made over 100 movies. White Fawn's Devotion is one of them.

References change

  1. White Fawn's Devotion on IMDb
  2. "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  3. "Cinematic Classics, Legendary Stars, Comedic Legends and Novice Filmmakers Showcase the 2008 Film Registry". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  4. Simmon, Scott. "White Fawn's Devotion" (PDF). Library of Congress. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2 Oct 2016.
  5. Romeo, Joseph A. "The Moors of Delaware".

Other websites change