This television movie is loosely based on the real Anna Brewster's story, but it alters and changes some details. It takes the basic concept and turns it into an incredibly meaningful, and therefore beautiful and heartbreaking story. It isn't completely accurate or exact in retelling what happened; for instance, the scene in which Anna and Sarah White (played by Jean Louisa Kelly) are captured isn't exactly true to what happened. Sarah White was already captured by the Cheyenne, and was living with them, when Anna was traded to them from the Sioux, who were Anna's original captors. However, the movie tells the story, nonetheless, and successfully communicates all the emotions, themes, and messages that permeate the movie version of the story.
|Anna Brewster (left) clutches her bible.|
One of the really nice things about this movie is the costuming. For example, I thought Anna's wedding dress, which she wears to marry Mr. Morgan (played by Patrick Bergin), was really pretty and truly Victorian. Some might think it too flowery and lacey, but I don't care.
|Anna Brewster becomes Anna Morgan.|
Sarah: "They burned my dress."
Anna: "You look beautiful."
I definitely do not share nor can I relate to Sarah White's disrespect and prejudice towards Native Americans, but if I were in a situation where my identity was being threatened, I would hold on to it for as long as possible. This is where Anna betters Sarah. Anna is more open-minded than Sarah, and less afraid of change. She is willing to let go of any prejudices she may have felt beforehand, and is capable of understanding other people, relating to a foreign culture, and feeling empathy for others. She is wiser in this way.
|Anna wears Native American face paint.|
Sarah is more close-minded and too easily influenced by her society's state of mind. She follows the herd, while Anna is more capable of thinking for herself. However, despite this, I can't help but admire Sarah's strength, determination, and stubbornness.
I feel like some might regard this movie as cheesy or a "chick-flick". Well, in my opinion, anyone who views this film that way is not looking hard enough. This is a movie full of meaning. There is so much to take away from it. Yes, it's a romance, but a nice one. And there is a lot more to it than the romance element.
Spoiler Alert! (If you want to see this movie and haven't watched the ending yet, and don't want to know how it ends, skip to the last paragraph, in which I conclude my thoughts on this movie) I found the ending of Stolen Women, Captured Hearts to be especially beautiful. The tragedy is that even though Anna had left Tokalah, whom she had fallen in love with, (she thinks she must do this in order to stop the fighting that Custer is initiating in order to recapture her), she later found that the Cheyenne village had been destroyed anyway. Nearly all of Tokalah's people were killed except for he. Custer is portrayed as both racist and sexist, and as a man who does not know the meaning of honor, or the value of keeping his word. Custer, the golden boy, attacked the Indian village despite his promise not to. It is hard to hate him entirely, though. He looks so much like an eighties rocker to me in this movie.
I liked this movie quite a lot, but it isn't exactly a family film. It is more suited for girls in their teens and up. Of course boys may like it too, but I can't help but picture this as a film that would be regarded by some to be "a girl movie". In my view, it is definitely a good film and one both genders should watch, which I think should be the way with everything. Nothing should be labeled "just for boys" or "just for girls". This movie speaks of loss, injustice, differences in opposing cultures, seeing past prejudice, and spirituality (especially in regard to Tokelah's visions), to name several themes.