Was the Comanche culture in Prey worthily respected?

Was the Comanche culture in Prey worthily respected?

The return of the Yautja with Prey, the new chapter of the Predator saga available on Disney +, pushed the franchise born in the 80s with Predator in a new direction. Contrary to previous films, set in the contemporary world, Dan Trachtenberg's film married events in the past, in the 1700s, presenting itself as a prequel to the entire saga. Choice that allowed the Comanche, one of the most famous Indian tribes, to be used in Prey as an antagonist for the lethal alien hunter. Given the importance of Comanche tradition and culture in the dynamics of Prey, one wonders how respectful the production in the film was in giving proper prominence to this Indian population ..

Subscribe now to Disney + 8, 99 € per month or 89.90 € per year Set in 1719, Prey sees a Yautja elect the Great Plains as his hunting ground, a land where the Comanches still dominate, despite the presence of the first trappers and explorers who are gaining ground in this gigantic plain. The choice to create this contrast between the most famous alien hunter in cinema and one of the hunting traditions and hunting culture recognized as one of the deadliest in history is at the center of the plot of the film, to the point that it becomes legitimate to wonder how much Prey really showed. of the Comanche culture. In order to obtain as much truthfulness as possible, Jhane Myers, who boasts Comanche and Blackfoot origins, was used as producer, in the hope of being able to best portray Naru and his tribe.

How has Comanche culture been enhanced in Prey, the new chapter of Predator?

The importance of the Comanche culture Women in the Comanche culture Colors of war

The importance of Comanche culture

While understanding how the characterization of Comanche culture should be subject to the needs of a film, it must be recognized that the success in giving a vision respectful of the Comanche tradition. While the accuracy with which the costumes and clothes typical of this Native American tradition were made is appreciable, the choice of having created an environmental situation that also includes respect on a historical level is equally admirable. The presence of French trappers in the Great Plains during the clash between Comanche and Predator is a historical preciousness that ennobles the care lavished in contextualizing the story in the best possible way from a historical point of view.

if ( jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1"). To make the Comanche legacy even more important was the care of a trait often little considered: the language . Despite being filmed in English, Prey is presented on Disney + with the possibility of seeing the film in the Comanche language. A profound sign of respect for the Comanches, but which partially loses its luster given the obvious lack of synchronism between the lips of the actors and the speech. Yet, for the protagonist Amber Midhtunder even this small tribute to the Native American culture represents an important step in the world of entertainment, where it is difficult to bring out the importance of this tradition:

“For Native Americans to be once again considered, strong and recognized as real people with typical emotions, desires and traits that makes us unique and a face to which being able to associate an identity is important. I think growing up in our parents' days, it wasn't possible to be part of a movie or to live your dreams, whatever they were, so being able to do it and show that it's possible for me is amazing. And I hope that in the future this is even more possible. I think right now, this is made possible by Prey or series like Reservation Dogs and Rutherford Falls, which show that there is really a lot to tell in film and serial about indigenous traditions. "

Given the structure of Prey, another aspect of Comanche culture is particularly interesting: the role of women within the tribe.

Women in Comanche culture

Even historically, Comanche society was sharply divided, with men seen as hunters and warriors, as well as in other roles in which physicality was fundamental, while women had the task of looking after the children and managing more domestic matters. Prey focuses on this aspect to build a story in which this trait of Comanche culture becomes the turning point in Naru's life, leading her not only to rebel against a law that limits her aspirations, but making her, at least within the events of the film, capable of rivaling the hunters of his tribe, such as his brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers). In doing so, Naru does not follow a traditional approach, yet he demonstrates how a typical trait of the male part of his cultural heritage, namely the prowess in the hunt, turns out to be so central to the plot that it also allows to reverse a trend typical of the franchise: having a female protagonist.

Colors of war

As mentioned earlier, the Comanche cultural heritage was guaranteed by the presence of dedicated consultants and numerous cast members who have Indian blood. As we could see in the film, the portrayal of Indian culture was not only rendered through customs and social behavior, but also by resorting to traditional Comanche aspects, such as war tattoos. One of Prey's promotional posters shows Naru with a war tattoo in which traces of Yautja's blood also appears, reiterating the importance of the tradition of hunting makeup for the Comanches.

Harlan Kywayhat as Itsee in 20th Century Studios' PREY, exclusively on Hulu. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. .. 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved. This signature trait was emphasized by Amber Midthunder during an interview with InStyle:

“We took several days of hair and makeup rehearsals before filming, and all of us, as much for me as it does for the boys, we had to collaborate in creating our war paint. Some of them have inserted drawings of their family on the decorations of the face or the body, which seemed incredibly spectacular and at the same time respectful of the production by wanting to incorporate our culture and our identity "

The Midthunder he has not clarified, however, whether the make-up of his Naru, which stands out in a particular way during the choral scenes, is linked to his native American culture heritage. However, it must be recognized that the choice of the production to involve the actors in the realization of their war paintings represents, again, a sign of respect for the Comanche traditions.

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