Albert Bender: 'The Green Inferno' hits new low in racist films

A scene from The Green Inferno. Photo from Facebook

Albert Bender, a member of the Cherokee Nation, calls The Green Inferno a step back in time due to its portrayal of Native people:
How many otherwise well-meaning white people and others will believe that many Amazon peoples are not actually cannibal, especially those that are classified as "uncontacted." According to Brazilian government sources there are over 67 tribes in the Amazon that are listed as "uncontacted." This is a bit of a misimpression because many of the tribes considered "uncontacted" are in fact descended from Native peoples who retreated, centuries ago, into the fastness of the Amazon region in the face of the European invasion in the so-called "Age of Discovery."

Many of the Indigenous peoples living in the Amazon originally lived on the Atlantic Coast. Others of the "uncontacted" are descendants of the survivors of 20th century assaults by loggers and the rubber boom and have made a conscious decision to have no further contact. They are exercising their right to self-determination.

There is a lingering stereotyped impression some have of the Amazon peoples. When I mentioned recently to a white friend of long standing that I had been invited by an environmental land rights organization, to meet with the Indigenous peoples to write a story, his first comment was that I might end up with a "shrunken head." This type of film only reinforces such concepts.

Eli Roth wanted to make a horror film. The true horror that is ongoing is the hideous, abominable genocide that has been perpetrated against the Native people of Brazil, from the 16th through the 21st centuries.

Get the Story:
Albert Bender: "The Green Inferno" is new low in racist film making (People's World 11/23)

Related Stories
Ruth Hopkins: Film depicts every Native stereotype imaginable (10/26)
Tara Houska: Horror film treats Native peoples as relics of past (10/05)
Tara Houska: Another racist portrayal of Native people on film (8/24)

Join the Conversation