Source: aloneyetnotalone.com
A still from the movie's official site, showing actor Tony Wade as Hannawoa, captioned: 'Hannawoa decides to take matters into his own hands regarding the Americans.'

Seen It Before: White Christians vs. Indian Pagans in 'Alone Yet Not Alone'

Angela Aleiss
6/11/14

On June 13, the Christian-owned Enthuse Entertainment will release Alone Yet Not Alone, a family-friendly telling of an 18th-century Indian captivity narrative.

The film sparked controversy in January 2014 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoked an Oscar nomination for the movie's original song, citing improper campaigning by its composer, Bruce Broughton.

Regardless, a few Natives question what effect the film might have on today’s perceptions of Indians. 

Alone Yet Not Alone recounts the ordeal of sisters Barbara and Regina Leininger during the Seven Years' War, when Delaware Indians raided a Pennsylvania farm in 1755 and captured the two young girls (the “Penn’s Creek Massacre”).  Barbara, the eldest, escaped in 1759, and Regina was released in 1764.

Caption from aloneyetnotalone.com: 'Lydia (Jenn Gotzon) hides two of the children after their village was attacked by Native Americans'

"This story about the Leininger sisters is almost ho-hum," says Linda Poolaw, Grand Chief of the Delaware Nation Grand Council of North America.  Poolaw, 72, is a member of the Delaware Nation in Oklahoma.  She was raised in the First Baptist Church in Anadarko and says she’s still a Christian. 

"There was captivity going on everywhere.  It just wasn't these babes," Poolaw explains by phone from her home in Anadarko, Oklahoma.

Alone Yet Not Alone is based upon the novel by Tracy Leininger Craven, who says the story came from her ancestors' own accounts.  Barbara's version was first published in German in 1759 and translated into English in 1878.  In the movie, Barbara is played by Craven's sister Kelly Greyson.

The film functions as a Christian allegory: The two white Christian girls struggling to survive among their "dark pagan" Delaware captors. "Despite all obstacles, [the captives] do not forsake their faith in Jesus Christ and never 'lose the song of their heart'," Craven says on the movie's website.

Caption from aloneyetnotalone.com: 'Galasko (Ozzie Torres), the son of the Delaware chief, looks noble in his warrior dress.'

But off camera, trouble brewed.  In 2013, Pastor Doug Phillips of the evangelical Boerne Christian Assembly in Texas resigned from his position at Vision Forum Ministries after confessing to an "inappropriate" relationship with a woman.  Phillips had published the first editions of Craven’s book and played the role of Colonel Mercer in the movie.  His scenes were removed and Vision Forum Ministries closed down.

The public furor prompted Native websites like Last Real Indians and Native Appropriations to question the movie’s skewed version of Indian history. 

Pages

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page

POST A COMMENT

Comments

ribluebird's picture
ribluebird
Submitted by ribluebird on
This film should have never been made with all that is happening with whites adopting Native American Children and by passing national laws. Have not seen and will not see.

Kelly Abram
Kelly Abram
Submitted by Kelly Abram on
The dates are often the first clue about the legitimacy! ... Fact 1. is that America was not a country until after July 4th, 1776. Fact 2. History in most of today's classroom only perpetuate the colonial existence of improving this new world with their better tools and weaponry and technologies and governance. Truth is democracy was created by Haudenshaunee prior to colonial existence and was borrowed and used in America's Whitehouse to proclaim freedoms & liberty for all men...(women excluded still from this) Fact 3. Colonialists, as proven by jesuit records, were more interested in native society values and cultural customs than their own. This led to government interference and fear that they will lose integrity and structural power to control its own colonial peoples. Fact 4. Todays government is forever rewriting history to favor its own accomplishments, no matter how evil and bitter tyrant it becomes to achieve its goal! Yesterdays techniques used on its past red man, is just now beginning to show its ugly powers to control its own people! A tool to control these people are technologies that can keep the public quiet and entertained...ie, TV, Sports, Adultry industry and even narcotics...

indianmedicine's picture
indianmedicine
Submitted by indianmedicine on
I look forward to seeing this Movie, because it is History untold..... ............................................................................................................ People have always done People Things throughout time, & to lay "Anti Christian Label" on the movie is silly.................................... ........................................................................................................... The movie is about Two Cultures Clashing In Value Systems; and shows the audience those differences............................................................ ........................................................................................................... Let the Audience make their own judgements about what goes against their Theology and What Does Not........................................................ .......................................................................................................... One reason that the French had a better relationship with the Tribes, is because, Historically they treated the Tribes more Even Handed then the British did......................................................................................... ........................................................................................................... Gorge Washington also historically had some "dirty hands" in some interface with the Local Tribes, so let's not over credit him as "Father of This Nation"; he was a British Military Officer at one time, and not the greatest of Military Strategists - but was Politically well connected and married into wealth. ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... Every Culture, too include "Red Culture" has had Wise Men & Women walk among them for The "Creators Purpose", beyond our understanding - and I personaly believe that "Jesus" is one of many "Christs" and an Ascended Master Teacher who also was an "Essene Mystic" who also studied Zoroaster; the First Primary Religion of The Mid East. (Look t Up In Wikipedia On Line) ............................................................................................................................ ......................................................................................................................... "Jesus" s worshipped not only for the lessons he taught, but for over coming Physical Death as we are told...................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... Are "Red People" Saints and Christs ? Yes.............................................. ......................................................................................................................... "Reincarnation" was taken out of "Christian Teachings" to the Mass's, but kept hidden in "Secret Orders" for control purpose, yet you can look in many Tribal Teachings where "Reincarnation" and "Ascending" to the Other Side is taught to the Tribal Members - (SEE HOPI)................................................ ......................................................................................................................... Kelly Abram, you surface Good Talking Points and illustrations, Thank You. ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ribluebird - Do Not Become What You Detest, and maintain your "Spiritual Center"; because I sense "hatred" brewing" in you................................... ......................................................................................................................... Yes, the "Academy" is practicing "Censorship", just like The Christian Church;but "The Truth Shall Set You Free"................................................. ......................................................................................................................... Remember, "Always Question The Answers" !.......................................... .........................................................................................................................

rockymissouri's picture
rockymissouri
Submitted by rockymissouri on
Creepy. How about something from the native point of view...? The FIRST Americans....

CamasBlues's picture
CamasBlues
Submitted by CamasBlues on
Well, the only good thing to say about this racist crapfest is that it will have limited distribution and few people will see it. It should be said tho' that the people behind this film are NOT ordinary evangelicals. They are Dominionists and Christian Reconstructionists which are bizarre extremist movements. No surprise they are overwhelmingly white as well. Doug Phillips of Vision Forum is a dominionist and was a major proponent of Christian Patriarchy (in short: women and girls have no rights and are to be wholly under a father's or husband;s protection. Yeah, no abuse there! cough cough). These people are also tied to allied movements like the New Apostolic Reformation which was written about in ICT in 2012. They have sucked in a few Indians and teach that ANY indigenous artifact, art work, sweatlodges, etc are evil and possessed by demons and must be destroyed. Also, I am not an expert on the tribes of the northeast (I am from a small PNW tribe) but from all I've read, those cultures strongly respect women. There are accounts from 'captured' white women from the late 17th and 18th centuries and many of the writers made a point to note that they were never sexually assaulted. It simply was not a part of the cultural code to treat any women that way, nor part of their rules of warfare. Also during this time period when the story is set in PA there were the Brothertown Indians, a Christianized band of Native people. Guess what happened to them? Being Christian did not save them from rapacious white neighbors - they were forced out. So basically this film was made by extremists with a twisted world view and a racist view of history.

Ricard's picture
Ricard
Submitted by Ricard on
Judging from the article and comments, no one has actually seen this film yet, which means that the reactions are ideological rather than objective. I’ve not seen it either, so can’t comment on the film’s content. I can, however, say that based on my experience, if it is a “Seen It Before: White Christians vs. Indian Pagans” type of movie, I actually will not have ‘seen it before.’ Having grown up in the public k-12 and college systems, the message was always ‘nasty whites brutalize Native Americans.’ The overwhelming majority of films during my lifetime have been more along the lines of ‘Dancing with Wolves.’ It seems to me that those on this page/site object to any film presentation that may present Indian’s as ‘bad guys.’ Were/are there Indian bad guys, just as there were White bad guys? It would seem silly to say ‘no.’ To insist that films never show ‘bad guys’ of a particular race is to deny reality. Plus, this film may very well be a case of showing the typical ‘clash of cultures’ and mores when in a state of war that existed in the 1700s. War, justified or not, is never pretty, and tends to display the very worst in all of humanity no matter which side you’re on. So let’s put down our own verbal guns, and when the film has been seen, judge it on its own merits.

CamasBlues's picture
CamasBlues
Submitted by CamasBlues on
For more background on the worldview of the people who made this film: http://kbotkin.com/2014/01/16/alone-yet-not-alone-in-a-sea-of-dominionism/
8