Ah, Pocahontas - a movie just historically accurate enough to obscure the facts for an entire generation of moviewatchers. It's a mashup of sort-of American history and Romeo and Juliet that features one really great song about destroying Native American culture for money and another great song about canoes.
I won't tackle this from a historical perspective - there are people who have done it far better than I can with more expertise - but I'm doing this for Kocoum, gang. Let's disrespect some history.
In 1995 when I first saw this scene, I came to the healthy realization that in order to be loved I would need to be seen looking fuckable near a waterfall. Love at first sight, like communism and shoplifting gas station burritos, can often be too tantalizing a concept to resist believing in.
That said, let's not forget that right before this moment, John Smith is completely prepared to shoot her with a musket. Pocahontas spends most of the movie up until this point searching for her true path with the help of a tree, a raccoon and a bird, and upon staring down the barrel of a gun decides, "Yeah, this'll do."
Chief Powhatan arranges a marriage between his daughter Pocahontas and silent killer Kocoum at the beginning of the movie to some strong objections from Poc, and virtually no reaction from Kocoum in spite of the fact that it was his idea. It's clear that Pocahontas is far from interested, and Kocoum responds to these repeated snubs with continued silence and standing stoic as hell while children try to interact with him.
In reality, Kocoum wasn't killed by anyone in Jamestown - Pocahontas actually bailed on him years later, when she married a British man who had captured her in exchange for information from Powhatan. Kocoum could not catch a break.
Pocahontas and Kocoum do talk once in the movie - he says something about "white demons" and puts his arms around her because there's nothing like a culture war to keep things spicy between two people who have no love for each other. Unless you're Pocahontas, in which case you are all about the white demon and will later move to England to marry a different guy named John.
Cool bear tattoo though.
Pocahontas's best friend Nakoma is kind of like the Zooey Deschanel of the American Indians here with her cute bangs, two-piece outfit, adorable meddling that results in the death of a childhood friend. She's great, and keeps the secret of Pocahontas and her white fuckboy like any good high school friend would.
In exchange, Pocahontas is vague about her relationship with the settlers and doesn't offer to find Nakoma a fuckboy of her own (and the Jamestown settlers were more or less all fuckboys). She eventually worries Nakoma so much that Kocoum is sent to protect Pocahontas and is subsequently killed by the biggest fuckboy of all, Thomas (who looks like a colonial Ron Weasley).
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