Is Netflix's News of the World based on a true story?

NEWS Of The World is the latest high-profile Western movie to hit Netflix.

The touching movie has left viewers wondering whether Captain Kidd did actually exist in real life. We've got the answers…

Is Netflix's News of the World based on a true story?

No, News of the World is not strictly based on historical events.

Whilst News of the World is not based on a true story, the film is based on Paulette Jiles's 2016 novel of the same name.

The novel is entirely fictional but the protagonist, Captain Kidd,  was loosely based on an ancestor of one of the author's friends, Wayne Chisholm.

In the film, we see Kidd roaming across the West reading newspapers aloud to earn his keep.

Jiles told the Texas Monthly: "[Chisholm's] great-great-grandfather was Aloysius Cornelius Kydd – something like that. He was telling me that his great-great-grandfather used to read newspapers in public performances in North Texas.

"And I thought, “What a marvellous character. This is incredible.” And I said, “Wayne, can I use him?” And he said, “Sure, I mean he’s dead.” So I just changed the spelling to Kidd.

"I have never heard of any other place where that happened. I had never heard of a paid-for reading of newspapers."

What is News of the World about?

In the Western movie, Tom Hanks stars as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an American Civil War veteran.

It is set 150 years ago, and Kidd makes a living travelling from town to town reading the news of the day to audiences.

During one of his stops, the veteran stumbles across a feral orphan who he names Johanna (Helena Zengel).

Johanna’s adopted family have been murdered by the Native American Kiowa tribe, and Kidd makes the reluctant decision to travel 400 miles to return Johanna to her relatives in San Antonio.

During the trip, Captain Kidd learns that Johanna actually goes by "Cicada," and that she wants to remain with her adoptive parents.

What happened to the Kiowa?

News of the World is set in Texas 150 years ago, just five years after the Civil War ended. 

The result was a violent, lawless state in which Native Americans and the settlers were in constant battle over land – this is illustrated in the film.

The Medicine Lodge Treaty was signed in 1868,  intending to bring peace to the area by moving the Kiowa people to reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas.

The Native Americans were forced to give up more than 60,000 square miles of their territories.

Today, there still exist more than 12,000 Kiowa, many of whom still reside in Oklahoma.

The tribe is currently governed by the Kiowa Indian Council.

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