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** The Cayuse man seems to speak at least two languages, in fact. Most of his dialogue is in [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nez_Perce_language downriver Nez Perce]], a highly endangered language with only a handful of remaining speakers and the probably language of Cayuse at the time. His [[spoiler: prayer over the collapsed Mr Thomas]] is probably actor Rod Rondeaux's native Crow, [[RealLifeWritesThePlot as recording real Nez Perce death songs is forbidden]]. And at one point he refers to Meek as "Boston", Chinook Jargon for "white man".

to:

** The Cayuse man seems to speak at least two languages, in fact. Most of his dialogue is in [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nez_Perce_language downriver Nez Perce]], a highly endangered language with only a handful of remaining speakers and the probably probable language of Cayuse at the time. His [[spoiler: prayer over the collapsed Mr Thomas]] is probably actor Rod Rondeaux's native Crow, [[RealLifeWritesThePlot as recording real Nez Perce death songs is forbidden]]. And at one point he refers to Meek as "Boston", Chinook Jargon for "white man".


* NoEnding: [[spoiler:The film ends before we find out whether the pioneers found civilization and where the Cayuse man was taking them.]].

to:

* NoEnding: [[spoiler:The film ends before we find out whether the pioneers found civilization and where the Cayuse man was taking them.]].]]


* BilingualBonus: Much of the film relies on the ambiguity of the Native American man's intentions. His monologues are left untranslated, but someone who knows the language will find out the secret: [[spoiler:The man does intend to lead them to water. He's angry at Meek for being a fur trapper and threatens him. In idle moments, he wonders who his captors are and whether they even exist, calling them "dream people." When he arrives at the valley, he recites a legend about the discovery of horses]].
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The story is told from a feminist perspective, showing how the women are left alone while the men confer among themselves what to do, leaving their wives out of the decision-making process. However, the women are never shown to be any wiser than the men.
* InjunCountry: The pioneers enter Indian territory, though which tribe is unclear. They spend much of their time worrying that they'll be attacked. They encounter only a single Native American who has no weapons or supplies. A few lithographs indicate that some Native Americans have been in the area.

to:

* BilingualBonus: Much of the film relies on the ambiguity of the Native American Cayuse man's intentions. His monologues are left untranslated, but [[https://slate.com/culture/2011/09/meeks-cutoffs-mysterious-indian-translated.html someone who knows the language downriver Nez Perce will find out the secret: secret]]: [[spoiler:The man does intend to lead them to water. He's angry at Meek for being a fur trapper and threatens him. In idle moments, he wonders who his captors are and whether they even exist, calling them "dream people." When he arrives at the valley, he recites a legend about the discovery of horses]].
horses]].
** The Cayuse man seems to speak at least two languages, in fact. Most of his dialogue is in [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nez_Perce_language downriver Nez Perce]], a highly endangered language with only a handful of remaining speakers and the probably language of Cayuse at the time. His [[spoiler: prayer over the collapsed Mr Thomas]] is probably actor Rod Rondeaux's native Crow, [[RealLifeWritesThePlot as recording real Nez Perce death songs is forbidden]]. And at one point he refers to Meek as "Boston", Chinook Jargon for "white man".
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The story is told from a feminist perspective, showing how the women are left alone while the men confer among themselves what to do, leaving their wives out of the decision-making process. However, the women are never shown to be any wiser than the men.
men - they're all equally lost in a country they don't know.
* InjunCountry: The pioneers enter Indian territory, though which tribe is unclear.unclear to them. They spend much of their time worrying that they'll be attacked. They encounter only a single Native American who has no weapons or supplies. A few lithographs indicate that some Native Americans have been in the area.



* NoNameGiven: The Native American man is never named, and the pioneers never refer to him as anything specific. He's called the Cayuse in the script.
* NoEnding: [[spoiler:The film ends before we find out whether the pioneers found civilization and where the Native American was taking them. As a consequence, the film never says whether the Native American is a villain and never presents the westward expansion of the pioneers as a good or bad thing]].
* RiddleForTheAges: [[spoiler:What was the Native American saying? Where was he taking them?]]

to:

* NoNameGiven: The Native American man is never named, and the pioneers never refer to him as anything specific. He's simply called the Cayuse in the script.
* NoEnding: [[spoiler:The film ends before we find out whether the pioneers found civilization and where the Native American Cayuse man was taking them. As a consequence, the film never says whether the Native American is a villain and never presents the westward expansion of the pioneers as a good or bad thing]].
them.]].
* RiddleForTheAges: [[spoiler:What was the Native American saying? Where was he taking them?]]them?]] The former, at least, is answered if you understand downriver Nez Perce, and at least hints at an answer to the latter: [[spoiler: he's probably taking them to safety.]]


* RiddleForTheAges: [[spoiler:What as the Native American saying? Where was he taking them?]]

to:

* RiddleForTheAges: [[spoiler:What as was the Native American saying? Where was he taking them?]]


* InjunCountry: The pioneers enter Indian territory, though which tribe is unclear. They spend much of their time worrying that they'll be attacked. They encounter only a single Native American who has no weapons or supplies. A few lithographs indicate that some Native Americans have been in the area]].
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: The film includes very lengthy stakes where not much happens. The very first shot is an extended, dialogue-free shot of the pioneers carrying things across a river.

to:

* InjunCountry: The pioneers enter Indian territory, though which tribe is unclear. They spend much of their time worrying that they'll be attacked. They encounter only a single Native American who has no weapons or supplies. A few lithographs indicate that some Native Americans have been in the area]].
area.
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: The film includes very lengthy stakes takes where not much happens. The very first shot is an extended, dialogue-free shot of the pioneers carrying things across a river.


Based on a true story, the film portrays a group of three pioneers on the Oregon Trail who follow Stephen Meek, a frontier guide who claimed to know a shortcut (Meeks Cutoff) but has gotten them lost.

to:

Based on a true story, the film portrays a group of three pioneers pioneer families on the Oregon Trail who follow Stephen Meek, a frontier guide who claimed claims to know a shortcut (Meeks Cutoff) but has gotten them lost.

Added DiffLines:

* NoNameGiven: The Native American man is never named, and the pioneers never refer to him as anything specific. He's called the Cayuse in the script.


* BilingualBonus: Much of the film relies on the ambiguity of the Native American man's intentions. His monologues are left untranslated, but someone who knows the language will find out the secret: [[spoiler:The man does intend to lead them to water. He's angry at Meek for being a fur trapper and threatens him. In idle moments, he wonders who his captors are and whether they even exist, calling them "dream people." When he arrives at the valley, he recites a legend about the discovery of horses]].
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The story is told from a feminist perspective, showing how the women are left alone while the men confer among themselves what to do, leaving their wives out of the decision-making process. However, the women are never shown to be any wiser than the men.



** The pioneers did exchange a blanket to a Native American for help in guiding them to water.



* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: There are a number of specific details that the film includes of the real Meeks Cutoff expedition, but most of it is invented for the film. The real wagon train was 200 wagons instead of three, Meek was accompanied by his wife rather than being a bachelor who clashed with the women in the party, and they did not resort to following a captured Native American.

to:

* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: There are a number of specific details that the film includes of the real Meeks Cutoff expedition, but most of it is invented for the film. The real wagon train was 200 wagons instead of three, Meek was accompanied by his wife rather than being a bachelor who clashed with the women in the party, and they did not resort to following a Meek hired the Indian guide rather than captured Native American.him.


* RiddleForTheAges: [[spoiler:What as the Native American saying? Where was he taking them?]]



* VeryLooselyBasedOnARealStory: There are a number of specific details that the film includes of the real Meeks Cutoff expedition, but most of it is invented for the film. The real wagon train was 200 wagons instead of three, Meek was accompanied by his wife rather than being a bachelor who clashed with the women in the party, and they did not resort to following a captured Native American.

to:

* VeryLooselyBasedOnARealStory: VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: There are a number of specific details that the film includes of the real Meeks Cutoff expedition, but most of it is invented for the film. The real wagon train was 200 wagons instead of three, Meek was accompanied by his wife rather than being a bachelor who clashed with the women in the party, and they did not resort to following a captured Native American.

Added DiffLines:

''Meek's Cutoff'' is a historical drama film written by Jonathan Raymond and directed by Kelly Reichardt. It stars Creator/MichelleWilliams, Creator/BruceGreenwood, Creator/PaulDano and Creator/ZoeKazan.

Based on a true story, the film portrays a group of three pioneers on the Oregon Trail who follow Stephen Meek, a frontier guide who claimed to know a shortcut (Meeks Cutoff) but has gotten them lost.

!!Tropes
* InjunCountry: The pioneers enter Indian territory, though which tribe is unclear. They spend much of their time worrying that they'll be attacked. They encounter only a single Native American who has no weapons or supplies. A few lithographs indicate that some Native Americans have been in the area]].
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: The film includes very lengthy stakes where not much happens. The very first shot is an extended, dialogue-free shot of the pioneers carrying things across a river.
* NoEnding: [[spoiler:The film ends before we find out whether the pioneers found civilization and where the Native American was taking them. As a consequence, the film never says whether the Native American is a villain and never presents the westward expansion of the pioneers as a good or bad thing]].
* ShownTheirWork: Some details are taken straight from the real expedition:
** The shot of Thomas scrawling graffiti into the tree is taken from a real artifact recovered from the trail.
** Jimmy recovering a gold nugget and claiming to have found enough to fill a bucket with them is based on a real legend surrounding the trip, the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Blue_Bucket_Mine Lost Blue Bucket Mine]].
** The pioneers' arguments about which direction to take after hitting water and refusing to take Meek's advice all happened.
* SilenceIsGolden: There is very little dialogue in the film, and there are long stretches of silence, with only the only sound being the buzzing of insects and squeaking of wagon wheels.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnARealStory: There are a number of specific details that the film includes of the real Meeks Cutoff expedition, but most of it is invented for the film. The real wagon train was 200 wagons instead of three, Meek was accompanied by his wife rather than being a bachelor who clashed with the women in the party, and they did not resort to following a captured Native American.
* TheWestern: A revisionist western with a feminist perspective. Set in the American frontier in 1845, during the early stages of the Oregon Trail.

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