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Unbowed (1999)

Three Lakota Sioux men enroll in a historically black college, and their reluctance to assimilate causes friction between their black peers. Some come to embrace their similar history, while others remain bitter.


Nanci Rossov


Mildred Lewis (screenplay) (as Mildred Inez Lewis)
2 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tembi Locke ... Cleola
Jay Tavare ... Waka Mani
Chuma Gault ... Richard (as Chuma Hunter-Gault)
Catero Colbert ... Junius (as Catero Alain Colbert)
Fran Bennett Fran Bennett ... Miss Bennett
Vincent McLean ... Simon Crow
Rugg Williams ... Lewis
Aaron Knight Aaron Knight ... Isaac
Armand Reiser Armand Reiser ... First Soldier
Hattie Winston ... Mother
Orson Bean ... Purdy
Ron Glass ... President Duquesne
Michelle Thomas ... Anna
Marie Wiley Marie Wiley ... Servant woman
David Flannigan David Flannigan ... Boy servant


Three Lakota Sioux men enroll in a historically black college, and their reluctance to assimilate causes friction between their black peers. Some come to embrace their similar history, while others remain bitter.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance







Release Date:

November 1999 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Final role of Michelle Thomas. See more »


Wade in the Water
Arranged by Elizabeth Sellers
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User Reviews

Unbowed Brilliance!
15 December 2010 | by Raven34See all my reviews

I'm not a fan of typical Westerns. This movie for me isn't a Western. It's a beautiful story, set in the late 1800s. The movie basically is about Lakota warriors, one of them a chief, sent to an all Black college as a test to see if Indians can learn.There is racism and racist comments directed towards the Lakota warriors, especially by Junius, played By Catero Colbert. He does a fantastic job of making you hate him.

The movie from beginning to end captivated me. I have already watched this movie fives times very recently! Waka Mani(played masterfully by incredible actor, Jay Tavare)is a very proud, honest, rebellious,strong, determined Lakota chief. Tavare's portrayal is so impressive to me because from the minute he appears on screen, he has the viewer in the palm of his hand. The character is multi faceted and colorful.

I also rather enjoyed the love story. It's obvious the two characters, Cleola and Waka Mani are curious about and attracted to each other from their first meeting.

All the players are incredible here. The entire movie is full of rich characters. You get the sense of the strong bond between the Lakota warriors. These are obvious men with strong friendship. There is a sad scene that truly proves that.

Ron Glass is, as always, brilliant in his role as the hard,strict president of the college.

The love story is beautiful. You root for the characters the entire time. There is a very tasteful,sensuous and beautiful love scene in this movie.

My only complaint is that the movie, though two hours was not turned into a mini series. You are left wondering what happened after the two main characters left together.

There is a lot of history here that most of us weren't taught in school. Do yourself a favor and buy this movie.

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