Kevin Costner's sweeping Civil War-era epic is an amazing film and certainly not a bad movie for a directorial debut. It tells the story of a Union soldier sent to scout the desolated military post in South Dakota. What he finds is the native Lakota tribe and he begins a journey of understanding the tribe and their ways. Though it did have some detractors and its production had several problems resulting in Costner adding $3 million to the already significantly large budget out-of-pocket, it ended up with popular reception at the box office and 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Costner. What I love about this film is not only the story, which is different than most Westerns, but its also the beautiful photography. Costner and his Oscar-winning cinematographer really took advantage of filming in South Dakota. Several of the shots show the majestic quality of South Dakota's plains or the Black Hills, which are phenomenal when seen in person. It is an extraordinary film whose story has been retold in different ways (cough Avatar cough!) and should be remembered on anyone's list.
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