Into the West is an American western mini-series produced by Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks which follows the story of two families - one white American, one Native American - as their lives become mingled through the momentous events of American expansion.
The story intertwines real and fictional characters and events spanning the period of expansion of the United States in the American West, from 1825 to 1890.
The series aired in the USA on TNT from 10 June to 22 July, 2005. There are six two-hour episodes in the series.
Into the West aired in South Africa on M-Net from 2 October to 6 November, 2006, on Mondays at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly.
Into the West is a six-part mini-series that explores one of the most defining chapters in American history.
As the desire for adventure, wealth, and a better life inspires thousands to risk their lives across the vast western territories, the inhabitants of this land see their way of life being destroyed.
As conceived by playwright/screenwriter William Mastrosimone, the drama uses two primary symbols - the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel - to join the Lakota story with that of the Wheelers, a Virginia family of wheelwrights who witness many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones.
From the pioneering explorations of mountain men in 1825 to the tragic massacre of downtrodden Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1891, these parallel storylines encompass migrating wagon trains, the California Gold Rush, construction of the transcontinental railroad, the violence of Quantrill's Raiders, and much, much more.
Through it all, Into the West preserves Lakota customs and language (accompanied by English subtitles) with unprecedented authenticity.
In showing how Native cultures were systematically oppressed by the white man's westward capitalism, this tragic tale is inevitably heartbreaking, although it ends on a hopeful note of cultural preservation.