Estelle Bennett Hughes Theater
The Bennett History Museum’s Theater shows an award-winning film, "The Southeastern Indians." The production gives visitors some background into the history of these native people. This film was co-produced by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Film and Video Division and Reinhardt University. It is a 15-minute documentary with a cast of 13 Native American actors and a story that is as compelling as it is tragic.
The land, on which Georgians live today, had been inhabited by people for over 12,000 years. The film describes the people living in the region during the Paleo era, the Archaic era, the Woodland era, the Mississippian era, and the more recent era of the "Five Civilized Tribes" (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw and Choctaw). European settlers arrived a little less than 300 years ago. After European contact, the Indians became more and more dependent on manufactured items rather than items from the natural world. By the 1830s, most of the remaining Indians were forced to leave the Southeast on a journey known as the Trail of Tears. Visitors will leave the theater with a new understanding of the people of the Southeast.
This production is shown on a giant 9 foot high by 16 foot wide screen. You will see the magnificent landscape of Georgia from the rivers to the mountains. The Dolby surround sound wrapping the music and narrative will astonish viewers. The film explains the difficulties experienced by the Southeastern Indians after European colonists arrived, the removal of the Indians, and the sickness, starvation and death of many of these people. It also provides visitors with an appreciation of Georgia's natural environment and the history of this region.