The Education of Little Tree
The Education of Little Tree ★★★ 1997 (PG)
Child's eye view of a large scale epic on par with modern classics like “The Secret Garden.” In 1935, poor, orphaned, and part Native American Little Tree (Ashton) is sent to live with his grandfather (Cromwell) and Native American grandmother (Cardinal) in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. There he learns “The Way” of his Cherokee ancestors and how to make moonshine from his Scottish/Irish grandfather. A nosy, Bible-thumping Aunt tips off authorities and soon Little Tree is shipped off to an evil state institution to cure him of his inappropriate Indian ways. There, the old-fashioned discipline runs fierce and abusive. Adapted from a children's book by Forrest Carter. Cardinal and Cromwell carve out memorable performances alongside first-rate newcomer Joseph Ashton. 112m/C VHS, DVD . James Cromwell, Tantoo Cardinal, Joseph Ashton, Graham Greene, Lisa Bronwyn Moore; D: Richard Friedenberg; W: Richard Friedenberg; C: Anastas Michos; M: Mark Isham.