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Virtual Indigenous Film Series: The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
The American Indian Community Housing Organization and Duluth-Superior Film Festival are partnering to present a series of four Indigenous-produced films. Filmmaker and Bois Forte Ojibwe tribal member Khayman Goodsky hosts the free Wednesday-night screenings online via Zeitgeist Zinema’s online platform.
Local short films and post-screening discussions are also included. All films will take place on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Donations will be accepted to support the filmmakers, guest speakers and presenting organizations. To register for a free ticket visit ds-ff.com/aicho.
Wednesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m.
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
Co-writer/directors: Elle-Máijá Tailfeather & Kathleen Hepburn
When Áila encounters a young indigenous woman, barefoot and crying on the side of a busy street, she soon discovers that this woman, Rosie, has just escaped a violent assault at the hands of her boyfriend. Áila decides to bring Rosie home with her and over the course of the evening, the two navigate the aftermath of this traumatic event. The film weaves an intricately complex story of a chance encounter between two indigenous women with drastically different lived experiences, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse.
The feature will be preceded by local short Maamawi, an experimental film by Jonathan Thunder.
Maamawi explores the inter-dimensional connections between a young man and unfamiliar relatives from a not-so-distant history. The content reflects a link between the modern era and the 1956 Indian Relocation act, which was a tool of the United States intended to get American Indians off tribal lands and assimilate them into the general population of urban areas.
Many urban-Indigenous communities popped up in major cities as the result of this experiment, including the American Indian Cultural Corridor in south Minneapolis. Narrated in the Ojibwe language with English subtitles.
Wednesday, May 19, 6:30 p.m.
The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw
Writer/Director: Shelley Niro
Mitzi Bearclaw turns 25 years old, and that means making big decisions for the future. Her dream to design cool hats is put on hold when she decides to move from the city back to her isolated reserve to look after her sick and bitter mother. With the reserve bully constantly at her heels and an old flame in her sights, she is grateful that her cousin is there to help her in the fight to stay sane in such a hard place to keep positive. With spirit guides and laughs along the way, join Mitzi in her battle to get her family back on the right track.
The feature will be preceded by local short film Dream Wanderer, by Khayman Goodsky.
Dream Wanderer focuses on an Ojibwe woman who has the ability to jump into other beings’ dreams, often without her control. After being warned about the man with the red eyes from a young age, she finds herself stuck in his dreams. Not all is what it seems in dream land though.
Wednesday June 16, 6:30 p.m.
N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear
Director: Jeffrey Palmer
This documentary examines the enigmatic life and mind of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Navarro Scott Momaday, one of Native America’s most celebrated authors of poetry and prose. Although his unique heritage is a central theme, Momaday’s work asks the questions every audience can relate to: what are our origins and how do we connect to them through our collective memories? The film reveals intimate details of the writer’s personal life through his literary texts, along with the trials and tribulations he faced as a Native American artist in the 20th and 21st century.
Wednesday July 21, 6:30 p.m.
Writer/Director: Klee Benally
Halee is a 16-year-old Diné (Navajo) relocation refugee who uses poetry to escape from her painful past and present. When Halee’s abusive father crosses a line, her best friend Selma helps her run away. Their journey to Halee’s homeland takes a turn when she discovers her father has been hiding a secret that has the power to change Halee’s life forever. This micro-budget feature was made with an all-Indigenous production crew powered by members of the Indigenous youth project Outta Your Backpack Media. The film takes a “punk-rock cinema” approach to tackling social affects of forced relocation.