There aren’t a ton of Thanksgiving movies. Movies about turkeys and dinners aren’t particularly interesting. The lack of fun characters like Santa and Frosty make the situation more complicated as well.
It’s easy to forget that Thanksgiving wasn’t really about having dinner with family at first. The Pilgrims and the American Indians gathered to celebrate their friendship. This friendship was soured a couple hundred years later when Andrew Jackson rounded up the Indians and banished them from their homelands. Though we did not return the favor, the American Indians played a crucial role in the early survival and prosperity of the American people.
I like to watch Last of the Mohicans every year around Thanksgiving. It doesn’t have anything to do with the holiday, but I enjoy watching Daniel Day-Lewis and Russell Means run through the woods to the beautiful score provided by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman. I’m sure they sat down at some point and ate dinner with the early settlers.
Last of the Mohicans is particularly relevant right now. Aside from Thanksgiving, star and American Indian activist Russell Means died a few weeks ago. Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln just came out. Given the fact that Day-Lewis makes a film only once every few years, Last of the Mohicans is a must see for fans of Day-Lewis.
If you have some down time this week and are looking to get into the Thanksgiving spirit, pour yourself some pumpkin juice (preferably served by a House elf) and watch Last of the Mohicans. While you’re watching, raise your glass to Uncas, who gave his life to a fight he had little stake in. Maybe afterwards, you’ll be thankful for Daniel Day-Lewis’ existence. I know I am.