Second, this epic tale allows the audience to actually listen to the Native Americans and receive their wisdom. Spielberg conveys the respect for Native Americans that is normally lacking in Western films.
It's important for cinema to keep on evolving: for people, and not only teenagers, to be able to go to a movie that has huge epic scope but has an intellectual and real story to tell.
I'm fascinated by the period that goes from the Industrial Revolution to right after World War II. There's something about that period that's epic and tragic.
Most people think of cinematographers as choosing subjects of an epic nature to show off what they do - big, sweeping images of war or pageantry.
Whether you're a believer or not, a flawed biblical epic is going to be more entertaining than a remake of a Paul Verhoeven movie or some third-rate sci-fi flick.