The last time we saw Creola and Waka Mani, they were hiding from Miss Cooper, lest she think they were generating sexual tension or creating nuclear fission on the staircase.
Much to our dismay, Creola and Waka Mani quickly leave the scene of the the potential crime. Creola leads him through a maze of doors. Waka Mani is practically breathing down her neck and it’s annoying because Miss Cooper ruined their hot and bothered moment. She takes it out on him. “I would appreciate it if you would keep your distance. He smirks. How can he not? She’s hilarious. He leans against the door. She responds as expected. She orders him to hurry and off they go again.
Ah, Junius (I hate his name) is putting a latch on a door. Richard appears with a bundle clothing. Junius opens the door. They share a smug look. Richard goes inside, followed by Isaac, who came out of nowhere. Lewis and Simon Crow are adjusting a bed mattress, so Richard attempts to give the bundle to Jumping Elk, who does not want it.
“It is mandatory that you wear these.”
Jumping Elk takes the clothing. Richard moves to the other side of the room, where we can’t see him because filming with one camera on a shoestring budget stinks. Jumping Elk removes something from his moccasin. Let’s just say it’s a totem. Lewis eases onto the mattress, simultaneously curious and a bit frightened. You know, they have shiny new Indians to play with, but such toys could be dangerous. Jumping Elk places the totem to the framed picture on the wall. There’s a cross above it. Conflict of spirituality.
Meanwhile, Creola and Waka Mani finally arrive. She whispers that she can’t go any further.
“Is it so dangerous for you?” Yes, it is. Virgin vs. seven young virile men. Definitely dangerous. Peeved, Creola puts down the bedding and stomps off. With her gone, Waka Mani acknowledges his pain.
Inside the room, Richard is explaining how things work at Beckwourth’s. Classes will start the next day and during the day they’ll be free, but at night the door will be locked. I hope that room has a toilet. Lewis asks if there is anything else they need.
The door opens. Waka Mani enters with the bedding. He masters smugness.
He’s not pleased to see Richard and the others and the feeling is mutual. He nods at his bros, giving Junius an opportunity to show how distasteful he is. “Well, it seems the chief has honored us with his presence.” Jumping Elk and Simon Crow are indeed happy about it. Waka Mani might not be their nation’s chief, but he may well be a war-chief or band-chief. All militaries have “officers” and “enlisted men.”
Lewis issues a verbal warning. “Leave them alone Junius.” He can’t. “Ninety-five soldiers died at Twin Forks and civilians were massacred.” Junius makes a bee-line for Waka Mani. He’s mad. Soldiers are one thing. Civilians are another. Simon Crow tries to rise, but he’s restrained by both Waka Mani and Jumping Elk.
Looking as pleased as punch, presuming punch can be pleased, Waka Mani wipes blood from his lips. “It was a good battle.” Junius disagrees/snarls. “They should have hung you.” Richard intervenes and puts an end to the testosterone fest. Making an ugly face, Junius stalks away, snatches Jumping Elk’s totem from the wall. Jumping Elk reacts, but he’s not fast enough. Junius throws the totem on the bed and stomps out the door. Almost immediately, Lewis picks up the totem. Waka Mani glares. Richard suggests he and his bros depart the area. At the door, he invites the others to evening prayers. Waka Mani scoffs at this notion because he’s not about Christianity. Lewis gives the totem to Simon Crow. The two share a meaningful glance. A bromance is born.
Simon gives the totem to Jumping Elk. He returns it to the wall and says in Lakota. “We can survive this place.” Waka Mani has a WTF moment. “Survive? What do you mean?” Jumping Elk points out that it isn’t a bad place. Waka Mani insists that a prison is a prison and that they must return to their people. Jay’s body is a distraction. Simon Crow speaks up, both verbally and with sign language, as the language is meant to be spoken. “I’m tired, Waka Mani.”
We have no idea how long it’s been since their capture or what they’ve endured. Waka Mani is disgusted by the lack of fighting spirit.
He eases over to the window and peers out. “This place will be easy to leave.” Someone, probably Junius, nails the window shut from the outside. The three laugh.
Duquesne and Brolin (Edward Albert) are taking a stroll outside. The general assures the president that the “white folks” with power will be tickled pink because he’s taken in the “captives.” Duquesne knows it’s bull. Brolin praises Booker T. Washington and the work he did with the Indians at Hampton. Duquesne isn’t impressed. Brolin adds insult to injury. “He’s being considered for president of Morehouse, a government appointment. That should be you William.”
Duquesne, to his credit, lives in the real world. “I have a place here. I’m respected. Outside these doors, I’m just another colored.” He pauses for a moment to emphasize his point. “And so is Booker T. Washington.” Brolin reflects and finally determines that he can’t argue with truth, with reality.
“William.” He says this with all the emotion he can muster. He extends his hand. He gets it now. He and Duquesne are NOT in the same place. They don’t exist in the same reality. Brolin can pass despite his true heritage. Duquesne can’t pass despite emulating the “white” man in every way possible. At best, he’ll get a pat on the head. The president accepts the Brolin’s understanding of the situation and shakes his hand. Brolin promises to send supplies to Beckwourth. I don’t really see a bromance developing here.
Junius is in a wooden tub surrounded by rocks, smoking a cigar. Isaac is buttoning his shirt. Lewis is washing himself with a cloth. Junius insists that the Indians shouldn’t be at Beckwourth. Lewis reminds him that other schools have taken them. Well, other schools aren’t Beckwourth. Isaac chimes in. “I don’t wanna teach Indians.” Junius has no time for that. “It’s not right! I don’t understand why Duquesne agreed. He must be following the general’s orders!” He must be since he has no power beyond Beckwourth’s grounds. Isaac wonders if they should question President Duquesne. Junius says he’s right and they shouldn’t.
Lewis suggests that the “captives” could help build the reviewing stand for the anniversary celebration that no cares about. Junius is snippy. “I suppose you think they could write the invitations also.” Isaac. “I thought the girls were gonna to do that.” Isaac is an idiot. Lewis puts on his pants. “The Indian has often been a friend to the Negro. Professor Clark is a half-breed.” Lewis needs to stop.
Said professor’s family was rescued from slavery by the Seminoles. “That was Florida.” Good. Junius has mastered geography. Lewis claims there are 100 other examples. Junius is in no mood for a lecture by someone who hasn’t had any experience with Indians. You can tell this by his kumbaya ways. “I was in the cavalry two years. I know Indians.” Isaac repositions himself.
“Maybe they won’t be too bad.
Junius takes a puff of his cigar, calms down and tells his story. “I grew up in West Oklahoma, Indian Territory. The Indians there held slaves. Treated them like n*****s. Civil War wasn’t over two days when some Choctaw bastard split my grandfather’s skull!” Choctaw aren’t Sioux (Lakota, Dakota or Nakota), Junius.
Lewis expresses his sympathy. Junius is still hateful. “”We should kill them all.” Even Isaac is ill at ease by this sentiment. Lewis tries to reason with Junius by supposing he had a drop of Indian blood. “Would you kill me?” Junius dismisses this example because he knows that Lewis is “100% colored.” No one questioned Junius’ “white” blood. Such is the logic. Black ＋“white” = colored. Black + Indigenous = needs to be killed.
Isaac wants to know if they’ll go after the women. Junius is likeable for a second. “No. I think they’ll go after you.” He continues bathing. Isaac laughs at the perceived joke nervously.
Suddenly, it’s night and Waka Mani is pacing the room while his friends sleep. He peeps out the curtain. It’s a full moon.
On the other side of the house, Creola’s perched in a window, playing with a braid, no doubt thinking about Waka Mani’s hardness…er… hotness.
In the prison cell, Waka Mani glances at the door and gets an idea. He uses the cross to pop the latch on the door. The symbolism…
A wolf howls. It jolts Anna out of her sleep. This scares Cleola. Anna wants to know what made that sound. Cleola says it’s just the night. Good answer. Anna remembers their new circumstances. “You shouldn’t be near the window dressed like that. They’re animals.” She’s not talking about the wolves, either. Cleola looks down at herself, de-perches and reluctantly returns to bed. Anna looks at Cleola like she’s a fool. But Anna, she’s all churned up, hot and wet now. Anna has yet to learn that Waka Mani is a man, too.
Meanwhile, Waka Mani is in the kitchen. He inspects the silverware until he finds a suitable knife. Since the balance is good, he takes it and goes outside. He walks around for a while until he spots a small white house. He inspects it for a few seconds and then climbs a ladder to the roof.
The next morning, Cleola shows up at the little house. Did she see him out the window? This sister’s so thirsty, she’s on the verge of dehydration.
She’s carrying her bible because she needs the Lord’s help in keeping her legs closed. Tee Hee. She peeps at Waka Mani, who is still on the roof, wearing only in his loincloth. He’s saying prayers and honoring the four directions. Seeing him like this makes a believer out of me.
Later, fully dressed, Waka Mani climbs down from the roof. The little boy from earlier is there shining shoes. Waka Mani gives the kid the universal “sssshhhhhh” sign. The two, or rather three of them, have a secret. Cleola has disappeared. Did she watch him dress? There must be a clothing ban placed on His Hotness.
(To be continued.)
Try purchasing your own copy of this amazing movie here ($40.00) or here ($20.00 plus shipping and handling). I don't know which one works the best. I used the first link years ago.
DISCLAIMER: Unbowed is the copyright and intellectual property of FILMANTHROPIC and Mildred Lewis. No copyright infringement is intended, only thoughtful discussion. Perhaps a few more people will secure a copy of this marvelous film themselves.