Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema
Itam Hakim, Hopiit
dir. Victor Masayesva Jr, US, 1984, video, 84 min.
Made during the tricentennial of the Pueblo revolt of 1680, Victor Masayesva Jr.’s Itam Hakim, Hopiit makes few concessions for non-Hopi audiences in its evocation of Hopi mythology and its upending of traditional documentary form. Over a kaleidoscopic montage of reservation life, historical photographs and reenactments, a Hopi elder shares stories of his boyhood and the origins of the Hopi people.
Navajo Talking Picture
dir. Arlene Bowman (Diné), US, 1985, video, 40 min.
While a student at UCLA, Arlene Bowman set out to document her grandmother’s life on the Navajo reservation but when her grandmother refuses to participate mid-way through, Bowman must confront her own motives and understanding of her heritage. Fascinating for the mistakes Bowman seemingly makes as well as the lessons she imparts, Navajo Talking Picture speaks to the complexities and pitfalls of representation no matter who’s behind the camera.
Presented in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Series curators: Jan-Christopher Horak, Dawn Jackson (Saginaw Chippewa), Shannon Kelley, Paul Malcolm, and Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (Cherokee). Associate curator: Nina Rao.
Special thanks to the Penn Museum, which invites you to a free 50th anniversary screening of Navajo Film Themselves. This experimental set of films made in 1966 in a small town in the Navajo Nation has provoked years of debate among scholars, filmmakers and Navajo people. Penn Museum’s archives has managed a restoration and digital repatriation project in the last 8 years, offering the films back to the community in which they were made. A sample of the restored films will be shown, as well as the premier of a film by Richard Chalfen, created in 1966, which gives an overview of the project and views of the town and people. The screening is on Saturday, June 11 at 5pm at the Penn Museum. More details at www.penn.museum