The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian presents the 19th annual Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Aug. 13–18. In this year’s installment, nearly all of the films were made by Native filmmakers; more than half were made by women, including the opening and closing films. In all, this year’s event includes 53 films from 11 countries, representing nearly 40 Indigenous groups.
In an affirmation of the power of self-representation, and in recognition of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the lineup includes films such as SGaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife), the first feature-length film to be spoken entirely in the Haida language, and Wiñaypacha (Eternity), the first feature-length film shot entirely in the Aymara language. In all, the showcase includes dialogue and narration in 20 Indigenous languages.
“More and more, Native filmmakers are able to use their medium to assert Indigenous identities on their own terms,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “There’s no longer a need to make films with the intention of creating work that’s palatable to the mainstream; audiences are meeting the filmmakers where they are, and the Native Cinema Showcase is the museum’s way of supporting this effort.”
“More and more, Native filmmakers are able to use their medium to assert Indigenous identities on their own terms.”
The showcase begins and ends with portraits of strong women. Tuesday evening’s feature film, Warrior Women, shows the role of women in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s from a female perspective. The closing film, Vai, incorporates languages of Oceania as it follows the journey of one woman across eight Indigenous communities throughout the Pacific Islands. Saturday’s family-friendly feature, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet, brings together Disney princesses including Pocahontas as they question the stereotypical roles they fell into during past film appearances.
The showcase runs in conjunction with the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest juried show of Native fine art in the world. The majority of the films will be screened at the New Mexico History Museum (On the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe, next to the Palace of the Governors, 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM, 505-476-5200), and Ralph Breaks the Internet will screen outdoors at the Santa Fe Railyard Park (Railyard Park, 740 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505, 505-983-5220). All screenings are free, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Other highlights include an appearance by Pulitzer prize-winning writer N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), who will make remarks before the screening of the biographical film N. Scott Momaday: Words From a Bear Thursday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m. A “State of the Arts” talk is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 16, at 3 p.m. and will feature Tlingit glass artist Preston Singletary.
Films from Latin América: August 14, 1pm, Wiñaypacha (Eternity), Peru; August 15, 3pm, The Land Speaks Shorts, 68 Voices: Earth’s Creation (La Creación Del Mundo), México, Kawsak Sacha /Living Forest, Canoe of life, Ecuador; August 18, 1pm, Rise Above Shorts,
La Niña del Arpa/ The Girl and the Harp, Guatemala,
Tijeras/ Scissors, Peru; and August 18, 3pm, Pire, Chile/Argentina.
For full schedule: https://www.si.edu/newsdesk/releases/indigenous-languages-and-stories-women-emphasized-native-cinema-showcase-santa-fe.
For More New Mexico News: ELSEMANARIONEWMEXICO.COM