news culture Prey: The Comanche people in the spotlight against the Predator on Disney+
Prey, the new installment in the sci-fi saga Predator, has just landed on our screens thanks to Disney+. For the moment well received by critics and the public, the film also has the merit of highlighting the Comanche protagonists, an indigenous people of America so far often denigrated by the cinema.
The 5th opus of a cult saga
Although it does not bear the title, Prey is actually the fifth installment in the Predator film saga, started in 1987 by John McTiernan with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the headliner. Subsequently, three films have emerged over the decades, not counting the spin-offs with the famous xenomorph from the other iconic sci-fi saga, Alien.
If Prey is the most recent film in the series, he nevertheless chose to abandon our time to set his scene in the plains of North America during the 18th century. At that time, the extra-terrestrial hunting enthusiast devoted himself to tracking animals – but also humans, before coming across a group of Comanche determined to stand up to him.
Rather accustomed to mixed results, the Predator seems this time to seduce critics and the public. With an average of 93% on RottenTomatoes, 70 on MetaCritic and 3.7 on Allociné, the director Dan Trachtenberg seems to have won his bet by choosing to portray a community of natives prey to the alien hunter.
The Comanches in the spotlight
More than a simple artistic bias, this filmic choice also makes it possible to highlight the Amerindian culture while the Comanches are more accustomed to antagonistic roles or are put in second place, as the director lamented at San Diego Comic-Con last month.
Native Americans, and more particularly the Comanches, are often relegated to the rank of sidekicks or villains, and never of heroes.
It is true that the Hollywood trend was more busy painting a denigrating portrait of Native American peoples, witness the many westerns of the golden age of Hollywood. Historically, the Comanches were recognized as fearsome and violent warriors, a reputation acquired after their various conflicts during the 19th century.
If the standards begin to evolve positively, Dan Trachtenberg decided to kill two birds with one stone by choosing a woman as the protagonist. A choice defended by 20th Century Fox and Disney, and hailed by Amber Midthunderthe main actress of the film.
support an action film that not only has a heroine, but also an indigenous heroine… That’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen.
Prey is available now on Disney+.