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Movie Review

The amens have all been said. The food on the table now officially qualifies as "leftovers." In many homes, settling down to watch a video is the next modern Thanksgiving Day tradition. But with the cornucopia of titles available, how can discerning families avoid getting a turkey? One way is to rent Squanto: A Warrior's Tale, the action-packed story of one real-life Native American whose passion for peace blazed the trail for the first Thanksgiving.

Shortly after his marriage to a lovely squaw, Squanto and several of his tribesmen are abducted and enslaved by cruel English traders. A daring escape eventually lands Squanto in the company of kind monks who offer him sanctuary, teaching him their ways and language. But his enemies diligently pursue him. When soldiers ransack the monastary in search of Squanto, the brave is amazed at his friends' willingness to endure persecution for his sake. He also learns that hate is a vicious, unproductive cycle. Other virtues promoted by the film include patience, finding good in people, serving God rather than greed, the importance of kin, laying down one's life for a friend and how the greatest role of a warrior can sometimes be peacemaker.

Upon returning to his homeland, Squanto finds his tribe devastated. He struggles with feelings of vengeance, but remembers what the monks taught him. As a result, a tense stand-off between the Pilgrims and Indians ends in harmony.

For families willing to put forth the effort, Squanto can also open doors for exploring the difference between biblical orthodoxy and New Age theology. The monks and Pilgrims (who each recite The Lord's Prayer) are spiritually sound. Even Squanto refers to his god as "The Creator." But parents should be prepared to discuss brief allusions to Native American animism. Without actually promoting spiritual counterfeits, Squanto mentions "Mother Earth" twice, and a hawk is portrayed as his protector. These minor caveats notwithstanding, Squanto: A Warrior's Tale provides another reason to be thankful this holiday season.

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Adam Beach, Michael Gambon, Sheldon Peters Wolfchild, Nathaniel Parker, Eric Schweig


Xavier Koller ( )


Walt Disney



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Bob Smithouser

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