The New World (2005)

 

 

Director: Terrence Malick (he also wrote the film)

Cast:  Colin Farrell (John Smith),  Q'Orianka Kilcher (Pocahontas),  Christian Bale (John Rolfe),  Kirk Acevedo (Sentry),  Arturo Tointigh Adrian (Core warrior/guide),  Jason Aaron Baca (Parker),  Irene Bedard (Pocahontas's Mother),  Blake Bess (Young Warrior),  Jesse Borrego (Jasper Britton),  Ben Chaplin (Jehu Robinson),  Yuriy Cherepnya (Zone 1 Warrior),  Greg Cooper (Boatman),  Colin Cox (English Sailor),  Martin Nigel Davey (London Gentleman),  Robin Atkin Downes,  Janine Duvitski, John Esteban (Colonist),  John Ghaly (English Soldier),  Michael Greyeyes (Rupwew),  Jamie Harris (Emery),  Stephen Humby,  Joe Inscoe (Ackley),  Henry Jaderlund (Leaf Garlanded Man/Warrior),  Tayla Kean (Samual The Cabin Boy),  Eddie Marsan (Edward),  Nick Meaney (Voice over),  Ben Mendelsohn (Ben),  Billy Merasty,  Chris Nelson (Sailor Chris),  Brian F. O'Byrne,  Josh Padgett (Joshua),  Anthony Parker (Core Warrior),  Christopher Plummer (Captain Christopher Newport),  Jonathan Pryce (King James I),  Kalani Queypo (Parahunt),  Jeremy Radin (Jeremy),  Melanie Reese (Extra),  Roger Rees (Virginia Company Representative),  Alex Rice (Patowomeck's Wife),  Cory Rodriguez (Core Warrior),  Gabriel Jones Roxas (Powhatan Warrior),  Myrton Running Wolf (Tockwhogh),  Lawrence Santiago (Core Warrior),  John Savage (Savage),  August Schellenberg (Powhatan),  David Spratt,  Wes Studi (Opechancanough),  Gary Sundown (Messenger/Core Warrior),  Rulan Tangen (Two Moons),  Noah Taylor (Selway),  David Thewlis (Captain Edward Wingfield),  Raoul Trujillo (Tomocomo),  Jeremy Wade (Jeremy),  Yorick van Wageningen (Captain Argall),  Will Wallace (William Sentry). 

 

The story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas.

 

I like the movie.  It's a beautiful love story, but much more than that.  It has a very slow pace to it, but that complements what the director is trying to get across.  The director wants you to think like the first Europeans to this area.  The shock of the new vegetation and the landscape, in addition to the shock of seeing a totally different people with a totally different way of life.  So look, look carefully at the New World for it is no longer like this.

The relationship between Capt. Smith and Pocahontas is also set at a slow pace.  With a people so different, one should not, could not, go fast.  Mistakes would be made, offenses given.  Americans today only know how to go fast, but here the pace is slow.  Good. 

So go slow and appreciate the vegetation and nature, the way of life of two peoples, both a little strange to us today.   

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 


Historical Background:

 

c. 1595  --  Matoaka (nicknamed Pocahontas, meaning playful, frolicsome girl) born, a member of the Powhatan Indians (an Algonquin tribe).  Her father was emperor Powhatan who controlled the Tidewater region of Virginia. 

Captain John Smith, one of the leaders of the Virginia colony, was captured and brought to the official residence of the Powhatan at Werowocomoco (12 miles from Jamestown). 

1607  --  according to legend, at age 13 Pocahontas saved the live of Capt. John Smith.  (Some believe that this was a part of an Indian ritual adopting Smith as a son or chief of the emperor Powhatan.)  Pocahontas came to the colony site to play with the children there.  She also helped save the colony by providing food for the settlers.

1609 (October)  --  John Smith suffered an injury from a gunpowder explosion and had to return to England.  (Pocahontas was told that Smith had died.)

1610  -- there is some evidence to suggest that Pocahontas married a fellow native American, Kocoum. 

1612  --  Captain Samuel Argall convinced the Jamestown colonists to take Pocahontas as a hostage to negotiate with the chief for the exchange for some captive Jamestown colonists.  She was held for a year and during that time learned the language and customs of the colonists. 

1613  --  she moved to another settlement, Henrico, under Sir Thomas Dale.  She was baptized. 

Dale and 150 men tried to force the Powhatan to pay the full ransom for Pocahontas.  The Indians attacked the English and they responded by burning by destroying Indian villages.

1614 (April 5)  --  Pocahontas married colonist John Rolfe and became known as Rebecca Rolfe.  They lived together on Rolfe's tobacco plantation, Varina Farms.  There she bore a son, Thomas Rolfe.

1616  --  under Sir Thomas Dale, as a kind of living advertisement, Pocahontas traveled to England to be used as an encouragement for  investment in and colonization of Virginia. 

1616-1617  -- she lived in Brentford.  She met King James I of England.  She caused a sensation in England, America's first international celebrity from the New World.  In London she did meet with John Smith, who she referred to as father (a term Smith did not care for). 

1617 (March 21)  --  at age 22, Pocahontas died of an illness. 

(One of her descendants was Edith Wilson, wife of US President Woodrow Wilson.)

 

 

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