Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Film Appreciation: UnBowed (1999)

Source: Filmanthropic
"UnBowed" is a historical drama that is one of my favorite movies to watch. Within the story there is intrigue, romance, and depth. It focuses on a side of racism from an African American and American Indian perspective.

Since this is an independent film (released in 1999), you may not have heard about it. The quality of this film is terrific. The portrayal of each character was authentic. The chemistry between Cleola (Tembi Locke) and Waka Mani (Jay Tavare) is rare, considering there is a love scene. Performing this type of scene can be awkward, but you definitely see passion.

You view some of the scenes at The Blasian Narrative.

I find that many independent films get overlooked for movies that lack meaning and authenticity. This film certainly deserves more credit and acknowledgement.

"UnBowed" has received several awards, including:

Best Film (Nanci Rossov- Producer/ Director) - American Indian Film Festival
Best Actor (Jay Tavare- Actor) - American Indian Film Festival
Best Screenplay (Mildred Inez Lewis) - Jamerican Film Festival
Audiance Favorite (2nd Place) - Pan African Film Festival

Take a look at the synopsis:

"In the late 1890s, a generation after the Civil War, Cleola (Tembi Locke), a high spirited student at Beckwourth College, appears to be in step with the rigid society of the American South. She has just become engaged to the most affluent of the students (Richard -played by Chuma Hunter-Gault), when three young Lakota prisoners-of-war are dragged to the College - among them the defiant Warrior, Waka Mani (Jay Tavare).

The arrival of the prisoners upsets the genteel, sheltered environment at Beckwourth. For Junius (Catero Alain Colbert), whose military and personal background has taught him to hate Indians, the intrusion into his carefully ordered world is an outrage.

Shocked by the passion they awaken in each other, Cleola and Waka Mani's love shatters the rules and beliefs that have defined their young lives." 

You can purchase this film at

Directed  by Nanci Rossov
Writing Credits by Mildred Inez Lewis
Produced by: Clive Endersby, Lisa Karadjian, Nanci Rossov, and Michele Vignieri


Tembi Locke...Cleola

Jay Tavare...Waka Mani

Chuma Hunter-Gault...Richard
Catero Colbert...Junius (as Catero Alain Colbert)
Fran Bennett...Miss Bennett
Vincent McLean...Simon Crow

Rugg Williams...Lewis
Aaron Knight...Isaac
Rock Reiser...First Soldier

Hattie Winston...Mother

Orson Bean...Purdy

Ron Glass...President Duquesne
Michelle Thomas...Anna
Marie Wiley...Servant woman
David Flannigan...Boy servant
David Jeffers...Second soldier
Clive Endersby...Lumber driver
Mark Abbott...Jumping Elk

Edward Albert...US Army officer (as Edward Laurence Albert)

View the full cast and crew information at IMDb.


  1. Unbowed is one of my all-time favorite independent films. Too bad it never received a wider distribution.

    1. I's like a hidden jewel. It's definitely one of my favorite films as well.

  2. Love, Love, Love the movie. It is now one of my favorite.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...