The New World is a 2005 British-American romantic historical drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick, depicting the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia, settlement and inspired by the historical figures Captain John Smith, Pocahontas of the Powatan Native American tribe, and Englishman, John Rolfe. The cast includes Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer and Christian Bale.
According to History professor Cathy Schultz, Powhatan’s people “were far from the innocent, childlike creatures we see in the film.” Schultz points out that Powhatan “ruled by conquest over the surrounding tribes,” in contrast to the film’s depiction of them as peaceful except where in conflict with the English. Furthermore, most scholars agree that there was no romantic relationship between Pocahontas and Smith. She would have been 10 years old in 1608 when they were said to have first met.