By the year 1880, all but one of the scattered bands of the Apache nation had been forced to surrender.
This one band, inspired by their leader Geronimo, tried to defy the odds and hold out.
But driven by starvation and under the attack of Mexican and American troops, even they realised they must compromise or die.
In the summer of 1883 they left their hiding place in Mexico to surrender at the United States border.
It's them all right. What's left of them.
Have you ever seen Apache before?
Take a good long look and keep facing front.
You might keep your hair.
They seem pretty peaceful now, Captain.
Nothing but a pack of wild and dirty animals.
Don't you forget that, Lieutenant Delahay.
Here's your horse, sir.
Prepare to mount.
Company, forward, ho!
Geronimo, under the terms of this treaty...
I'm not Geronimo. I'm Natchez.
Geronimo sends word he will surrender at sundown. He asks you to wait.
Why sundown? Because the treaty says sundown.
Where is he now? He has unfinished business.
Oh? What sort of unfinished business?
He's keeping a promise.
You have your own horse now, Giantah. You're a man.
From now on you act like a man. Yes, Geronimo.
Ride with your shoulders back and your head held proud.
When anyone asks you who you are, say, "I am an Apache" and they won't ask again.
Do we have to surrender?
They won't change us. I won't let them. I promise you that.
You've got a man for a son, Showshawn.
I wish he were mine.
Lieutenant John Delahay, C Company, Third Cavalry.
This is Captain William Maynard.
Geronimo, under the terms of this treaty, you and your tribe hereby relinquish rights to all lands except those at San Carlos Reservation, Arizona.
You allow yourselves to be escorted under military supervision to said reservation, and once there promise to live peaceably and without conflict.
In recognition of this sacred promise, the United States government agrees to give you food, shelter and the aforementioned land, which will belong to you and your tribe forever.
Signed General George A Crook, Department of Arizona.
Is something wrong?
Where does it say on the paper that we are Apaches?
That's understood. You'll be treated accordingly.
We proceed immediately to San Carlos.
Ah-ah-ah. Take off the moccasins, my child.
Fine rich carpeting. Mustn't soil it with the dust of the world.
What is it you want to tell me?
Get me the Bible, Mother.
Do you think there'll be trouble? Trouble? I don't think so.
It'll take more than a child of the devil to beat the Lord.
Mr Burns. Captain Maynard.
My name is Jeremiah Burns. I'm in charge here.
Tell your braves to dismount.
We'll hold the ponies in the back corral until we can determine the rightful owners.
These ponies belong to my people.
You are wrong, brother.
Those ponies belong to the hard-working settlers you stole them from.
The Lord says what's stolen must be returned.
Then how do we hunt and live?
You won't have to hunt. The government takes care of everything. You will see.
We are children of God here in San Carlos.
We work the ground. You'll have no need of a horse.
Captain Maynard. Wait.
Take them away.
I'll go see if the book came in.
My house is right over there. If you have any problems, let me know.
My door's always open for love and understanding.
Sergeant, divide them into three groups.
I'll take the first to Turkey Creek. The others go to Arroyo Seco.
This way. All right.
I'll show you where you're quartered.
What about a man's dignity? Does the government take care of that too?
It was the government sent out Mr Burns. Does that answer your question, sir?
We issue rations once a week here. Beef, flour, sugar.
You're getting special treatment today.
Next week you'll have to wait in line, just like the others.
I remember how it used to be.
Hello, Captain. Got me some new customers?
This is Geronimo, Mr Henry. He'll be up at Turkey Creek with Mangus and his tribe.
Welcome to San Carlos.
Each week we issue you sugar, flour and beef.
Teela. When are you going to teach me to read?
Captain, I don't think I need to teach you anything.
May I take the book, please, Mr Henry?
Is that the new reader? Yes, it is.
All right, Teela. You go on. I'll mark it down.
I wouldn't laugh. Books are very good for you. Yes, indeed they are.
Yes, they certainly are. Put out your hand, please.
It'll wash off. It just means you got your ration.
I'm not an animal that has to be branded.
Let him go.
I said let him go.
Don't you ever touch a white man again.
You behave yourself. That's all you have to do. We'll get along fine.
Otherwise I'll lock you in a cage where you belong.
If you issue their rations, I'll get this group on their way.
Maybe he'll learn to read now, like the other children.
Food, shelter, land.
Better than starving in the mountains, Geronimo.
Geronimo, you coyote!
You son of a coyote, you son of two coyotes!
You look fine. Just fine.
What are you doing? I'm growing corn.
See? Here, look. Look at this sprout.
Did you ever see such a sprout? Huh?
Who'd have thought we could grow a sprout like this? But we did.
In my mind's eye I can see this whole field. This high with corn.
Will you stop talking like a fool? What?
You're a chief, not a farmer.
Let your woman work in the field.
She's got to take care of the baby.
She can take care of the baby and work too.
Mangus, the people I've seen here aren't Apaches any more.
What have they done to you?
They don't understand us, so we do the best we can.
At least we stay alive. Are you alive?
Mangus, what did he say?
What we all said, one year ago.
Mr Henry would like to see you, sir. Very well.
Have Lieutenant Swanson double the patrols for the next few nights.
We're closing up for lunch. Sorry.
Come back after lunch. After lunch. Sorry.
You've heard from Kincaide? From Mr Kincaide himself.
He's coming to look it over tomorrow.
If there are no problems, it should make us very rich.
Have you talked to Burns? I thought maybe you should handle him.
He's no problem.
Speaking of problems, what about Geronimo?
I'll have him broken in a couple of days, just like the rest of them.
We have a new boy with us today, Giantah.
Would you please sit next to Mahila, Giantah?
I heard. You'll come with us?
Lt'll be like before. You'll starve or they'll kill you.
We need brave men. I have a wife and child.
You can bring them.
In a little while my field will be rich with corn.
We'll have money. Maybe that's the answer.
You don't believe that.
No. But my wife, she does.
That girl out there with the book. Teela. Do you like her?
Is she a good cook? I wouldn't know. Why don't you ask her?
What do you think, Natchez?
Does it matter?
Boys should learn to be warriors, not schoolteachers.
The big white cat runs and plays.
Class is dismissed. Go on.
Except for you, Giantah. C-A-T, cat.
Not that. You come and help me get this arrow out of the book.
When do you leave? Tonight or tomorrow. The first chance.
Will you change your mind?
But if I can help in any way.
Please come and get your arrow out of my book.
What? Your arrow.
You're right. It's a good arrow. It shouldn't be wasted.
You'll get us all in trouble.
It's still good.
Maybe it's time you learned to read. I know about cats and dogs.
That isn't what the book's about. No?
To learn how to read and to read are not the same.
My father didn't read. Maybe if he did they'd respect you more.
I want respect for what I am, not for what they want me to be.
But what you are isn't good enough for them.
When you can read, when you can write, when you don't smell of fish and horseflesh, then maybe you will be.
Who taught you that? Nobody taught me.
I looked around and I saw and I'm improving myself.
Are you ashamed of what you are? No.
Of course not. Then act like it.
I'm having trouble finding her a husband.
I wouldn't doubt it. For you, a special price. Nothing.
I'll think about it.
Well? I didn't think it could be done.
Not in this desert.
If Mr Burns is agreeable, I think we can do business.
Fine. He's waiting for us now. Good.
Mr Kincaide is the owner of the Arizona Land Investment Company.
That's a prosperous company. I've heard about you. Your company, that is.
Thank you. Mr Kincaide has a business proposal.
50,000 acres up at Turkey Creek, Mr Burns.
You've turned wasteland into top-grade pasture.
I want a place to run prime cattle for the western beef market.
If you make the land available, it'll be worth your while.
As I've already explained, that is government land.
That's right, Mr Kincaide. We have 150 devoted souls working up there.
I thought you could move them anywhere on the reservation. On your option.
I could, yes, I could.
But I would need an authorization for a major decision.
Is this a major decision, Mr Burns? That would also be my option.
How long will it take to get an authorization?
Six, maybe seven months.
You know Washington. Excuse me.
They don't pay much attention to what's out here.
We're just a forgotten little corner of the world.
The government's happy as long as we keep the Apaches from causing trouble.
What's the problem, then? Dollar an acre? 50,000 acres?
The normal land guarantees.
On the other hand, even though they are savages, there... is a moral obligation.
Of course, there are ways of easing moral obligations, Mr Kincaide.
I'm sure the Lord recognizes the devotion of this reservation beyond what we're paid.
I'd say two dollars an acre.
Where's Mangus? There he is, in the field.
You know. Yes.
It's a rumor. I don't believe it. They wouldn't take away the land.
They wouldn't watch us break our backs to make it work, then take it.
What other promise have they kept? It's more than the land, Geronimo.
It was my way of finding some peaceful answer.
It's better to find the truth.
What are you doing here? Get out of here.
We've come to find out the truth.
What truth? About our land.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Get out of here. Not until we find the truth.
There's only one truth, brother.
The truth of the Lord.
His sword is swift.
It smites down those who disbelieve.
You're a heathen, Geronimo.
Maybe the Lord will forgive you.
I heard you signed a new paper that takes away the land.
Washington decides that, brother, not me.
You've got to talk to Washington. He's not here. You are.
Is that the paper? No... Ah... yes.
And you signed it? It was a mistake. I promise I'll tear it up.
Which hand signed the paper?
Pick it up.
Pick it up!
Tie her up.
This'll hold you till the doctor gets here.
Captain. They've cut the lines. We can't get through.
Ride to Bowie. Tell Crook I'll prevent them crossing the border.
Tell them every horse counts. Only warriors go.
If they have women, they ride double.
Get dressed. I'm going back to Mexico. I thought you would.
I've decided I need a woman. I can teach you.
You need someone to teach you how to be more than an animal.
They're taking away the land. I know.
But it doesn't mean your way is right.
It's hopeless to fight any more. Don't you understand?
You don't understand, but I'll change that. Are you coming?
I asked you a question.
Is that all there is to your question?
Just that you need a woman?
C Company ready for pursuit, sir. Very well.
There was a rumor Burns was going to sell the land.
Yeah, I heard.
Can I go? Sorry, Porica.
Take me with you, Geronimo. I can fight.
There's your horse.
Let's go. Everybody, quick!
A Mexican border patrol.
I'll draw them off. Meet me at Vista Diablo.
Right back where they were a few days ago.
They learned a lot in those few days, didn't they, Captain?
Be careful, Johnny.
One Apache. It's not worth it.
Get these guns cleaned and ready to use.
Geronimo. We're going to fight them.
Yes, I see. No, you don't see at all.
This time we don't fight just to stay alive, like before.
This time, we declare war.
50 men declare war against the whole United States?
What kind of a war is that? Don't laugh at me.
I'm not laughing. I'm crying because you're crazy.
Geronimo, we have no chance. We can't win.
And we'll probably all die.
Even I know that.
We can win.
We can win because we have no chance and yet we fight.
But we've got to fight long enough.
Long enough so the people of the United States begin to wonder why such a small handful of men go on fighting a war against such a big country as theirs.
Long enough until they ask themselves, "Why do the Apaches starve and die instead of surrender?"
That's when they'll begin to understand.
And when they do, maybe their leader, Mr Washington himself, will come right here, and he'll have a new treaty.
A treaty that says how important it is for all men to be proud and strong.
And believe in what they are.
I love you.
Of course, you have no sense. You have a soul but no sense.
You think Mr Washington himself will leave his house and come right here?
I don't know. Well, who knows?
In the gully, sir. Forward, ho!
At San Carlos I was waiting for an opportunity to put a bullet through Geronimo.
I shouldn't have waited. This time he's declared himself at war.
Maybe now we won't have to wait for him to come to us.
Gentlemen, we have just received permission from the Mexican government to cross the border in pursuit of Geronimo.
This is Colonel Morales.
He'll act as liaison between our governments and assign men to accompany you on your details.
My government is pleased to be of assistance.
With Mexico's aid, we've arranged to patrol every river, every camping ground, every possible route into the United States.
Now, God willing, we can bring an end to this so-called war. Rest.
General Crook? Sir? Yes?
What about terms, General? Terms?
Suppose they want to arbitrate? The orders are no terms.
Lieutenant, you were at San Carlos, weren't you?
Lieutenant Delahay, C Company, Third Cavalry.
What's bothering you, Lieutenant?
Just human compassion. I know who I'm fighting.
I'm not sure I understand why.
I wouldn't think about it personally.
You can't afford to. It's a job. That's the way you have to look at it.
Is that the way you look at it, sir?
Don't set yourself up as a judge, Mr Delahay. That could be a fatal mistake.
Captain Watson, Captain Burke, proceed with your companies to the east and south of Hermosillo.
They're crossing all along here. And here.
They've signed a paper with Mexico.
They must have talked with Mr Washington.
Right this minute he's probably saying, "Now the Apaches will have to surrender. "
We're running out of food. Soon the patrols will be everywhere.
But they'll never find us up here. Huh, Natchez? Never.
Mangus, it's almost time.
The first step is always the most difficult.
He's a fine boy.
You notice he looks just like me?
I mean, my better side.
I mean, when I'm dead, people will look at him and say, "There goes Mangus.
"Handsome, wasn't he?"
Even in war, life... life goes on.
Here, you ought to try it sometime.
Geronimo, what about Nitah? Hm?
Nitah? My cousin.
She's right behind you. Don't turn around.
No. Why not?
She's my cousin. What's wrong with her? Nothing's wrong with her. She's a pig.
She's a pig.
May he be just like his father.
And he is too.
Here, you do it.
I- I'm sorry there are only flowers. There wasn't enough food to go round.
I promise you there will be.
Put up your hands.
Did you hear what I said? Put 'em up.
What do you think you're doing? Those are my oats.
Dump those sacks back in that bin right this instant.
Go on, dump 'em back.
You're hurting me.
Please, tell your men to get out of my barn.
I... I got some chicken frying on the stove.
Oats ain't supposed to be ate like that anyhow. Not like animals.
Well, come on.
I'm sorry it took so long. Now there's enough for everybody.
You got to sit down at the table, like decent folks.
Well, sit down.
Billy, you go study. I can manage fine.
Bless this food, O Lord, in thy name. Amen.
Now you can help yourselves.
Go and study your spelling. But I want to look at them.
You can look at them later. First you do these lessons.
When you're finished you can come back and look at them.
Hear me? It's women. They're all alike. You notice?
Guest in the house or not, mister, I don't allow chicken bones on the floor.
Now, please pick it up.
Go outside and wait.
Everybody. Go on.
Whatever you're thinking, don't think it.
Where's your husband?
I expect he'll be home any time now.
He's a trapper. He comes and goes.
You know how it be with setting the snares.
He said he'd be home Monday week.
I looked on the monthly this morning, and Monday week is today.
My husband's a strong man. He's not afraid of nothing.
You have to kill me first, I swear it. You have to kill me first.
Tell me about the boy. Don't you touch him.
Is he like his father?
Is he like his father?
Yes, I suppose in many ways he is.
Like I told you, my husband's overdue coming home now.
You'll see. And when he does... Your husband's dead, isn't he?
He's a fine-looking boy.
Through him your husband lives.
You go on, Mangus. I've got something else to do.
Where is he going?
He's got something else to do.
"Meg had a cushion, Jo a book, "Beth a basket and Amy a portfolio.
"All walked quietly through the garden, out of the little back gate, "and began to climb the hill. "
What are you doing here?
I've come back for you. Get ready.
No. I told you before.
I've decided to change your mind. You've decided?
Are you coming or do I have to take you?
Try. Go ahead. Try.
You're coming with me. I need you.
Why? You can find some other girl to cook you food and chop you wood.
Get one of them. Don't ask me.
I'm not asking you, I'm telling you.
But I don't believe in you. Don't you understand?
We'll talk about it later.
Go to sleep.
We'll rest here.
Your shoulder's hurt. It's all right.
No, it's not. I didn't bring you along to nurse me.
Then why did you?
Teela, where did you grow up?
On the reservation, mostly.
They taught you things in books?
I'm gonna tell you a secret about the earth. This isn't in any book.
The earth is pregnant. Everywhere.
Dig right there.
What for? Why don't you find out?
Why don't you dig yourself?
See? The earth is filled with life.
Teela, I want you to be like the earth. I want a son.
I want you to want me. You'll bear my son. Isn't that enough?
I want you to want me.
What did you see? Never mind.
Huera will show you where we sleep. This way.
I knew you were coming. You did?
Two wagons and a pack train moving toward Hermosillo.
Enough food for a month or more.
Let's go. Yah!
Nitah, where's Teela? In the jacal.
Here's some food.
Here's something else.
You could have gone back while I was away.
Sargento, consígase un padre por ahí. Sí, teniente.
I sent him to get a priest. Enough food for a month or more.
It's the lives I regret, señor.
You see, the captain has plans for being rich and obscure.
With this, his plans are put off, at least until the hostiles run out of rations.
The grain bins were guarded, but not the chickens!
Your shoulder's hurt again.
Was the fighting bad this time?
I couldn't sleep.
I lay here all those nights and I thought, "Now, tonight, Geronimo will die tonight
"because he has to prove himself brave. "
That's what I thought.
You think too much.
I have no courage. I am not like you.
Why aren't you pregnant yet?
Why aren't you ever here?
Would that help? Not any more.
Let me feel him kick.
He's no bigger than a poppy seed. Not right now.
How do you know that? I read it somewhere.
Show me. Not that book.
Teela, I've been thinking.
He'll be a fine warrior because of his father. He has to be.
But maybe he should read too, huh?
How long can we go on?
Until he takes my place, if necessary.
How much longer will it be? No comment.
Is Congress investigating you? Excuse me, please.
We hear Washington's fit to be tied. No comment!
I take it you heard Congress is sending a couple of senators to investigate us.
For our failure, gentlemen.
I'm very much afraid I can't argue the point.
We represent a great nation. Manpower and facilities without limit.
Over 5,000 men in the field.
We can't bring to a successful conclusion a campaign against a handful of Apaches who must be low on food and ammunition.
Now you tell me why, because I'm interested in knowing.
Now, then. We have some intelligence that may give you the help you seem to need.
The evaluation of the combined scouting reports narrows the location to somewhere in here.
Lacosardi on the west, Janos on the east.
Narrowed down to an area this size, it shouldn't take a military genius to find their hiding place.
There are soldiers here and here and at Horn Bend.
The mountain is almost completely surrounded.
He's tired. Please let him rest.
We'll talk later.
Teela, you should rest too.
Where did you go? To Janos.
I was careful. A doctor there said he'd take care of your shoulder.
I have everything ready. We can leave. I don't need a doctor.
Here. Show me how strong you are.
You have no right to lead anyone this way, and you know it.
If you must die, at least die able to fight.
Mangus was right. Women are all the same.
Mangus was this, Natchez was that. Please treat me...
Quiet. I will not keep quiet.
I have some clothes for you... I said keep quiet.
You forgot your cantaro.
Well? The doctor said he'd see my husband.
You got the money? Yes.
Go around the back.
This is my husband, Dr Sanchez.
Your wife told me about your arm, Señor Martinez.
Let's take a look at it.
The wound is festered. I'll have to clean it out.
I'm gonna need some of this. Never mind the whiskey.
I need it to clean... I said start without the whiskey.
I'll get some. Across the street.
Señorita? A bottle of whiskey, please.
A bottle of whiskey? What kind? Any kind.
Any kind? Please hurry.
I'll take this one.
Cómo estás, honey?
Get back to the general. Tell him he should close off the slope and move down.
Yes, sir. Ho!
They're too close.
Old Indian trick. You never can tell.
When Mr Washington comes to talk with you, tell him... tell...
No more fires.
Mescal, Senator. It's very good.
If you read some of these, General, you'd understand our position better.
Letters, newspaper articles, pressure from all sides.
Some of them angry, some simply asking for an explanation.
Like this one, a New York editorial.
"Are we overlooking some important principle behind Geronimo's fight?"
Or this one. "Are we fighting a war without honor?"
It's hardly a war.
It's still the same question.
We're asking it of you because it's being asked of us by the people.
For three months, since that encounter in Janos, Geronimo's attacks have been diminishing.
They're facing starvation. They can't have much ammunition.
It's a hopeless position. Why doesn't he surrender?
You've got to understand, the man's occupying an area that's like a maze.
500 square miles of some of the wildest country in Mexico.
We're patrolling it the best way we can.
You still haven't answered my question.
Why does any man hold out in the face of impossible odds?
I don't know the answer to that one. I'm a soldier, not a philosopher.
The rest of the committee's in San Carlos.
I'm waiting for their report. We'll have the answers.
Yes. You may not need them.
Someday our patrols will find their hiding place and you'll have your surrender.
And that'll be that.
When the time comes, you lie down and hold on to the post.
Kill your baby, Teela. Don't let him live. Don't watch him die of hunger like mine.
See anything? Not yet, sir.
You go on.
Any sign? Broken branches, berries picked.
They're up there somewhere. Let's turn around, get back to Maynard.
Get back to Maynard!
Get their guns and ammunition.
How soon will more soldiers be here?
That poppy seed, you sure it wasn't a watermelon?
Leave me alone. Just let me have my baby in peace.
They've gotten to the river and camped there for the night.
How many men? I don't know. 100, maybe.
100 against 20. Santo just died.
They're blocking the north canyon. There's no escape.
We want to talk about surrender. No. No surrender.
We're beaten! What you fought for means nothing to them. It's all been for nothing.
She's a woman and she thinks like a woman.
Is there any other woman here?
When they get here we'll be ready for them.
Well, there it is, sir.
And you can figure they're watching us.
I always do, but I'll make sure.
Prepare to dismount. Dismount.
With your rifles, arm.
Prepare to kneel.
Prepare to fire.
They're out of range.
Save your ammunition.
Find the general. Tell him they're trapped. Tell him just one cannon's all I need.
Yes, sir. Ride two horses into the ground.
See where he's going.
How much ammunition? About 300 rounds.
They've sent for a cannon. It's on the way.
Are you beaten by one cannon?
A cannon that hasn't been fired yet?
Go on, get back to your positions.
General, I've just received that report from Washington.
Can you ride a horse, Senator? What?
I'm afraid your report arrived an hour too late.
What would you say is the range of the target?
About 340 yards, sir.
Very well. Set range for 310 yards. We'll fire short.
Set range at 310 yards. Yes, sir.
They're almost ready.
It's too far from here.
Cannon's ready to fire, sir.
Reload. Set range for 20 yards beyond the target center.
Reload. Set range for 360 yards.
We're not high enough.
The cannon's ready, sir.
Reload. Set range for 340 yards. On target.
But you'll annihilate them.
I suggest you give them the opportunity to surrender first.
I suggest you reload.
You're under a direct military order. Reload.
Reload. Adjust cannon to target.
Don't worry, Johnny, I won't press charges.
Is it hate, Captain? Or is it fear?
I said I wouldn't press charges.
I'd prefer it if you did.
More powder and double shot.
Aren't you ready? Another moment.
You have a son.
Don't touch him. Don't ever touch him.
We can't fight any longer. Yes, you can.
Are you waiting for the gods to save you? Nobody else can.
Don't talk. No.
If you won't listen to me, you'll listen to the baby.
He'll die like the others died, because I have no milk to give him.
I have nothing and neither do you.
If we go back to San Carlos, at least we can live.
Please. I beg you.
I do. I think I always have.
When I left San Carlos, I believed in fighting. It was the only way I knew.
Every night since then, I've thought about surrender.
I've wondered if I was right and I've been afraid because I don't want to die either.
But today when I look at you and I see our child in your arms, I stop wondering and I stop being afraid.
Now, even more, I must stay.
You take the women and surrender. They won't hurt you.
We'll stay too.
Natchez, you see the man with the long coat?
We want to talk.
That's Geronimo? Yes, sir.
Geronimo, Senator Conrad represents President Cleveland.
Washington is the city where Mr Cleveland lives.
The president has asked me to come here and talk with you.
He thinks there might be a way for us to settle our differences with a greater understanding on both sides.
He feels that if we ask you to live under our laws, then these laws should give you the respect and dignity that is your rightful heritage.
We're going down.