The ads for Red Earth, White Earth ballyhooed the soap-opera aspects of the made-for-TV film, particularly the fact that the young protagonist's (Tim Daly) best friend was shacking up with the boy's mother. Played down in the ads was the central crisis of the film: A battle between a white farm family and the Native Americans who have recently acquired the political pull to claim the family's land. The farmers are flummoxed not only by the ethnic issue but also by their long-standing personal and financial woes. Given the high-charged political atmosphere of Red Earth, White Earth, it's ironic that its originally scheduled 1988 telecast was moved to early 1989--bumped off the air by one of the Bush-Dukakis debates. The film was based on a novel by Will Weaver.
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