Soldier Blue is a revisionist Western from 1970. It’s based around the Sand Creek massacre, in which Colorado militia wiped out an entire Indian village. The climax of the film graphically shows American troops firing upon Indians under the white flag, killing unarmed children, women and men, burning down tipis, scalping prisoners. It is a brutal and extended scene, which says more with its bloodied images than the rest of the film, which often feels leaden and proselytising.
Peter Strauss plays a young trooper – the ‘Soldier Blue’ of the title – who falls for a white woman (Candice Bergen) who has spent time living amongst the Cheyenne. He believes the Indians to be savages, and in the necessity to contain them, control them, civilise them. She, on the other hand, sees barbarism in such ‘civilisation’. Only at the end of the film does Soldier Blue open his eyes to the visions she has spoken of throughout the story, and with this his only response is to vomit.