WE SHALL REMAIN: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Part 1 airs tonight at 8pm
I’ve always been interested in the story of Thanksgiving. It seemed as though that was such a perfect story of the hope of friendship between pilgrims and Native Americans, that just never fit in with what the rest of history told us. First they’re the good guys, next we’re at war for centuries.
In this first episode of We Shall Remain, American Experiences’ sponsored history of American Indians from Thanksgiving to today, producer Sharon Grimberg delves into that first feast – exploring the friendship that began and what went wrong.
The episode, “After the Mayflower,” uses great cinematographic reenactments along with expert interviews to explain to viewers how it all began, giving, as it says in the beginning of the episode, an epic history of America through native eyes.
What I loved about it, though, was the fact that it gave background information not only for American Indians, but also the Pilgrims and other Europeans, clearly defining the motives behind decisions that ultimately lead to a war between the two peoples.
The main focus of this episode is Wampanoag sachem Massasoit and his tribe, advocates of the English until the 1670s. Grimberg really tells the story of Massasoit well, revealing documents about his struggle to compromise with the English as they populated his land by the thousand, as well as examples of his faithfulness to them until his death.
I can only anticipate what the next four episodes will be like, but I’m sure that they will be shot beautifully and supported wonderfully by interviews, documents and rare footage, and by the amazing reenactments that tell the story without distracting from it.
This film completely represents what PBS documentaries are about – truth, teaching and a great story, and I am excited to see how it progresses.
– Maggi Davis
Maggi Davis is a University of Texas student, who has worked at KLRU for three years primarily in the communications department. She will graduate in May.