As filmmakers are getting hired left and right for TV gigs, streaming series, and more, I really hope someone remembers that American indie veteran John Sayles is still around and kicking and not just sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring. For the past few years, Sayles has been getting his movies made, even if “Honeydripper,” “Amigo,” and “Go For Sisters” have only found a limited audience. But fans of his work will be happy to know he’s got a new effort on the horizon.
Peninsula Daily News reports that Sayles will head to Fort Worden State Park next summer to shoot “To Save The Man,” and naturally, it’s another tale of history, politics, class, and more. The movie will tell the story of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the first federally funded boarding school for Native people, that ran from 1879-1918, with the goal of integrating Native American youths into (white) society. The title of the film comes from the school’s founder, Captain Richard Henry Pratt, whose horribly misguided driving motto was: Kill the indian, save the man.
It’s a promising drama that’s currently working to raise the $8.5 million budget, but it seems like it’s coming together. “The cool thing is that the people who we are approaching to finance the film are less interested in the bottom line and more interested in having this film exist,” said producer Maggie Renzi. “The story raises questions about kids who are struggling with their obligation to and knowledge of their traditions and how that fits in with their assimilation into another society.”
If all goes well, “To Save The Man” will shoot next July and August, after which it’ll be shopped around. And let’s hope some bigger players step up to give Sayles and his work the kind of platform it deserves.