Another story that needed to be told.
As much as audiences love Yellowstone and all its spinoffs for the spirit of the Wild West and the essence of free living that they so cinematically capture, it is impossible to tell such stories without properly portraying the ugly side of it.
After all, if you want to portray any era, you have to capture its horrors as well as its beauty.
Unfortunately, American history in the 1920s had no shortage of horrors at all.
The show did a frighteningly good job of depicting the violence that came with the imposition of Western culture on indigenous people.
From the very first episode of the show, the viewer is presented with a very authentic image of a Catholic boarding school.
Such schools were very popular in the United States at the time.
While Native American families tried to fight for their children and were resilient enough to send them to such schools at first, they were forced to do so over time by systematic oppression and cultural erasure.
In these schools, children were taught to forget their own language, traditions, and culture, and were indoctrinated with the idea of Western superiority.
According to survivor accounts, violence, and abuse were part of the “educational” process in these institutions, with children punished for any sign of disobedience.
That’s why the scene between Aminah Nieves and Jennifer Ehle, portraying their respective characters Teonna and Sister Mary O’Connor, is very realistic to the historical events.
The physical punishment that Mary inflicts on her student for forgetting the procedure for making soap leads to even more punishment for both of them later on.
“Being indigenous, it’s our duty to tell our stories and to tell them as strongly, quickly, and powerfully as we can. It’s what we’re born into, and we’re storytellers from the jump. Continuing to tell our story as honestly as we can is very important,” Aminah Nieves said in her interview with Screenrant, commenting on hardships that come with telling such a story.
1923 has already secured a second season with another 8 episodes in it, however, there is no news on when it’s going to be released.
Keep an eye out to not miss its premiere on Paramount Plus.