The Film: Hidalgo (2004)
The Hollywood Version: “The True Story Of A Man Who Went Halfway Around The World To Find Himself.”
Viggo Mortensen is Frank Hopkins, invited by wealthy sheik to enter the Ocean Of Fire, a 3,000-mile survival race across the Arabian desert.
The Sheik puts his claim to be the West’s greatest rider to the test, pitting the American cowboy and his mustang, Hidalgo, against the world's greatest Arabian horses and Bedouin riders - some of whom are determined to prevent a foreigner from finishing the race.
Just The Facts: Well, there was a man called Frank Hopkins. And it appears he did ride horses.
Native American reviewers disparaged the film because they saw it as furthering white stereotypes of Indian culture and behaviour.
Pointing out that Hopkins himself lied continually about his experiences and background, they claim that Hopkins was among many white men to claim Indian ancestry for personal gain.
Oh, and apparently there never was a race like the Ocean of Fire. And there's no documentation to prove that Hopkins ever went to the Arabian desert.
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