Kicking Bird: [in Lakota; addressing the village council] He may be a special man or even a god. I ask that Chief Ten Bears give us permission to talk with him.
Murmurs around the council as Wind in his Hair rises to speak.
Wind In His Hair: [in Lakota; subtitled] I do not care for this talk about a white man at the soldier fort. Who ever he is he is not a Sioux and that makes him less. We took more then a hundred horses from these people and there was no honor in it. They don’t ride well. They don’t shoot well. They’re dirty. Those so-called “soldiers” could not make it through one winter in our country. And all these people are said to flourish? I think they will all be dead soon… maybe in ten years.
Murmurs circulate around the council.
Wind In His Hair: [in Lakota] I think this fool is probably lost.
The council laughs as Wind in his Hair sits back down and Kicking Bird raises his right hand as a call for silence.
Kicking Bird: [in Lakota; subtitled] Wind in his Hair has spoken and his words are strong. It is true that the whites are a poor race and it is hard to understand them. But make no mistake, the whites are coming. Even our enemies agree on this. But when I see one white man alone and without fear in our country, I do not think he is lost. I think he may have medicine. I think this is a man who will speak for all white people. I think this is a man from which treaties may be struck.
— Dances With Wolves (1990), screenplay by Michael Blake from his own novel
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is culture clash suggested by Debbie Moon who also provided today’s example.
Trivia: Michael Blake wrote a spec screenplay in the early 1980s. When Kevin Costner came across the project in 1986, he suggested to Blake that he should turn it into a novel, thereby increasing his chances of getting it made into a film. Blake did so and, after many rejections, found a publisher in 1988. Costner immediately snapped up the movie rights with an eye to directing it himself.
Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary from Debbie: “What’s great about this is that we’re seeing that the “natives” have just as much contempt for the white man as he has for them – and even level much the same insults at him. There’s no moral high ground when two cultures come into conflict.”