"Lone Star" is a modern day based western. Director John Sayles is one of the many great independent directors."Lone Star" was made in 1996 so it is a more contemporary film.This film has a basic western theme.But it is set in the present day.It is set in a boarder town on the U.S./Mexico boarder like the film "Touch of Evil" by Orson Wells.There is a sheriff trying to solve a crime that has to do with his past.The crime has to do with him and his father, Buddy Dees, who was also a sheriff and is now dead, the mayor of the town, and a bartender, Ottise that is half black and half Native American.The film also goes through the sheriff’s love life with a history teacher that he had been dating while he was in high school.Her mother owns a restaurant in the town and got to the U.S. by jumping the boarder.At the end of the film we find out that the sheriff’s father, Buddy Dees, and the teacher’s mother had a fling and that’s how the teacher was born.So that makes the sheriff and the teacher brother and sister.The funnier thing about this is that they had sex and the sheriff said that it felt weird.The crime that the present sheriff has to deal with is the murder of another cop, Charley Wade.This cop was a low down murderer.He killed a Mexican in Mexico while he was trying to bring people to the United States.He was also making people pay him off so that he wouldn’t end up taking them to jail.He was killed by Buddy Dees because he was going to kill Ottise the bartender.The mayor of the town was the other cop with Wade when he was murdered.The bartender has a son who is a Colonel in the army.He has a son that has never met his grandfather, the bartender.The bartender has a small museum in the club he owns.The museum is to honor the Native tribes that helped the black people escape form their owners.These Native Americans would help hide them by saying that the slaves …
“The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.”
John Sayles film, Lone Star, is about crossing borders, challenging the past, and dealing with the burden of history in both the personal and the public sphere. Painted on a very broad canvas, Lone Star is an epic film touching on many themes, including racism, illegal immigration, the corruption of government and law enforcement, racial identity, multicultural education, and the endurance of love.
History casts a very long shadow over the border town of Frontera, and as the characters wrestle with the past and unearth its secrets (both literally and figuratively), the action glides seamlessly between past and present. The past doesn’t just haunt the present in this film, it is a vital force shaping identity, both individual and collective. How it represented-in the classroom, in memory, in the history books and in the stories told in the local barroom-has everything to do with the conflicts and power struggles that dominate life in Frontera in the present moment.
These essays address questions of history and narrative, exploring the issue of representation and focusing on the ways in which “official” knowledge can eradicate, distort, deny or suppress other ways of knowing the past. I will look at the way in which the past is embedded in the present and defined by the present. I will discuss some epistemological questions raised by the movie and by the issues of narrative, historiography and “truth.”I look at the question of borders and the transgression of borders, migration, identity and the frontier, and I conclude with a discussion of the question of agency in Lone Star.
“Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events.”
Lone Star is an epic film with a complex plot and a number of sub-plots. I will give only a brief summary of the plot here, identifying the key characters, highlighting the main conflict and briefly discu…