Will Crandall and Hallye Webb set out to interview Northwestern students to see what they knew about the true story of Pocahontas. Will & Hallye approached random students across campus and asked them a series of questions to determine what they knew about Pocahontas and where that knowledge came from.
Most of the questions dealt with knowledge of Pocahontas’ real story versus the Disney movie, and how the movie affects perceptions of Native Americans. The majority of students did not know much about Pocahontas’ true story, including crucial details like what tribe she belonged to, how old she was when she came in contact with John Smith, or that she was captured by the English soon after her interactions with Smith. Most of the students also admitted that most of their knowledge came from the Disney film, despite them also knowing it was an inaccurate portrayal of Pocahontas. Due to the popularity of the Disney movie, almost every student also admitted that they had Indian-themed toys or played Indian-themed games as a kid. What this project shows is just how little the average person knows about Pocahontas and Native Americans, despite the influence they have had on every person’s life, even if only as a child.
Check out the video here:
Thank you to every student who participated.
The project was shot on a Nikon Digital Camera and edited in iMovie.