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

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 '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 '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. 


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ribluebird's picture
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, TV, Sports, Adultry industry and even narcotics...