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Indigenous Narratives Challenge

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monty
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Indigenous Narratives Challenge

#1

Post by monty » August 29th, 2016, 6:53 pm

The Indigenous Narratives Challenge



Image

This challenge deals with films in which the indigenous perspective is at the forefront. Here "indigenous people" is defined as "a people with their own language and distinctive cultural traditions still practiced, the original inhabitants of a geographical territory but now a minority relative to the dominant culture of their country."

Films in which indigenous cultures or people are primarily presented through a majority perspective are excluded from this challenge. Additionally, films in which the primary focus is on non-natives and how they somehow get educated/enlightened by encountering indigenous people are excluded.


Goal
:
Watch as many films as you can...



Rules:
- A feature film/documentary (anything over 45 minutes) counts as one entry
- A total of 60 minutes of shorts count as one entry
- For mini-series with shorter episodes (25 minutes or so), the 50 minute rule applies.
- For mini-series (with episodes of 40 minutes or longer), each episode counts as an entry.
- Rewatches are allowed and good for the soul


Lists:

- Indigenous Narratives - a custom-made list for this challenge courtesy of yours truly (thanks to 3eyes for her work in bringing it over here). I've supplied YouTube links for a bunch of the items on this list to facilitate viewing. The list is meant as a springboard for further exploration.

- Creative Spirits' list of Aboriginal works
- Native and Aboriginal Cinema

Other resources:
- Native American documentaries
- Native American feature films
- Film catalog of The National Museum of the American Indian
- Movies featuring the native peoples of Central and South America
- The Fast Runner Trilogy - free 720p downloads! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
- Inuit documentaries and drama
- The Nunavut series
- Unikkausivut, Sharing our Stories
- National Film Board of Canada + NFB 2
- Australian Aboriginal films


Participants:

monty --------------------------------------------------> 31
3eyes ---------------------------------------------------> 8
Local Hero ----------------------------------------------> 6
albajos --------------------------------------------------> 3
blocho --------------------------------------------------> 4
RBG -----------------------------------------------------> 2
allie -----------------------------------------------------> 2
mathiasa ------------------------------------------------> 1



PeacefulAnarchy ----> ?
Last edited by monty on April 28th, 2018, 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#2

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » August 29th, 2016, 7:10 pm

I'm in like Flint!

By which I mean knapped flint tools such as the knives employed by ancient Native Americans. :ph43r:

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#3

Post by monty » August 29th, 2016, 7:34 pm

Several of these works have zero checks so this is a golden opportunity to work on both the zero checks challenge as well as the ultra obscure challenge - just saying. In addition, there are a helluva lot of good films to be found here so I encourage you all to dig in.

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#4

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » August 29th, 2016, 8:38 pm

monty on Aug 29 2016, 12:53:40 PM wrote: Participants:
3eyes
Local Hero









Aren't you participating, Monty?

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#5

Post by monty » August 29th, 2016, 8:51 pm

I sure am. It's not like I would have spent all that time compiling a custom list for this challenge and then sitting it out on the sidelines. I don't play like that, hehe.
Last edited by monty on August 29th, 2016, 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#6

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » August 29th, 2016, 11:06 pm

In for a few, maybe a dozen or so, maybe more, we'll see.

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#7

Post by RBG » August 29th, 2016, 11:18 pm

ehh nm they're listed under other resources. but i will still recommend kukuli, it's my favorite film in this genre (and it's on youtube)
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icm + ltbxd

NO GODS NO MASTERS

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#8

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » August 29th, 2016, 11:23 pm

monty on Aug 29 2016, 12:53:40 PM wrote:Films in which indigenous cultures or people are primarily presented through a majority perspective are excluded from this challenge. Additionally, films in which the primary focus is on non-natives and how they somehow get educated/enlightened by encountering indigenous people are excluded.



- Creative Spirits' list of Aboriginal works
So does that mean not everything in this list is eligible. I haven't seen Australia but I don't think it fits your criteria.

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#9

Post by monty » August 29th, 2016, 11:46 pm

My list isn't meant to be the final word; it's merely intended as a springboard for further exploration.
Sure, Kukuli should be fine for this challenge.

@peaceful: No, not every item on the Creative Spirits' list will be eligible - and yes, Nicole Kidman's Australia is one example of an ineligible film for the purposes of this challenge. I included that list 'cos it seemed to have some interesting stuff but that doesn't mean that I have vetted every single item.

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#10

Post by RBG » August 29th, 2016, 11:47 pm

ok i've calmed down now -_-
icm + ltbxd

NO GODS NO MASTERS

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#11

Post by monty » August 29th, 2016, 11:48 pm

And in case you are considering watching Australia, peaceful, I just want to say this: Don't! It's an abysmal film.

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#12

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » August 29th, 2016, 11:51 pm

monty on Aug 29 2016, 05:46:59 PM wrote:My list isn't meant to be the final word; it's merely intended as a springboard for further exploration.
Sure, Kukuli should be fine for this challenge.

@peaceful: No, not every item on the Creative Spirits' list will be eligible - and yes, Nicole Kidman's Australia is one example of an ineligible film for the purposes of this challenge. I included that list 'cos it seemed to have some interesting stuff but that doesn't mean that I have vetted every single item.
We talked about Kukuli and I thought you were putting it on the custom list for this challenge?

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#13

Post by monty » August 30th, 2016, 12:02 am

Feel free to watch stuff even if it's not on my master list. The challenge is not limited to that list alone. The thing is simply this: as long as you feel a film fits the criteria for this challenge, go ahead and watch it.

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#14

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » August 30th, 2016, 12:26 am

monty on Aug 29 2016, 06:02:15 PM wrote:Feel free to watch stuff even if it's not on my master list. The challenge is not limited to that list alone. The thing is simply this: as long as you feel a film fits the criteria for this challenge, go ahead and watch it.
I thought it was called the master list because it must be obeyed. :shrug:

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#15

Post by monty » August 30th, 2016, 12:30 am

Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi on Aug 29 2016, 06:26:02 PM wrote:
monty on Aug 29 2016, 06:02:15 PM wrote:Feel free to watch stuff even if it's not on my master list. The challenge is not limited to that list alone. The thing is simply this: as long as you feel a film fits the criteria for this challenge, go ahead and watch it.
I thought it was called the master list because it must be obeyed. :shrug:
Oh, I slipped up - it was supposed to read "masterly". Sorry about that. :P

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#16

Post by weirdboy » August 30th, 2016, 2:32 am

I was going to suggest a film or two about the Ainu but there appear to be none except a couple of documentaries that I am not even sure if they've been shown in public.

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#17

Post by monty » August 30th, 2016, 3:53 am

Yeah, let me know if you find the entire docu:

Ainu tell their story with their own film:

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#18

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » August 31st, 2016, 3:13 pm

Going into a sweat lodge today in purificatory preparation. I assume others are doing the same.

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#19

Post by monty » August 31st, 2016, 11:41 pm

Ok, time to get this party started.

1. Miss Navajo (2007)

An absolute charmer of a documentary.
This is how pageants should be like, focusing on essential real-life skills:
Image
The inner beauty of these proud Navajo women is breathtaking. All in all, highly recommended viewing.
Image
Last edited by monty on August 31st, 2016, 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#20

Post by monty » September 1st, 2016, 12:07 pm

2. (A total of 60 min of shorts)

A) Tama tu (2005), 17 min
About a Maori squad fighting in Europe during WW1 - lots of goofy fun.
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B ) Weewar, 8 min
An ok short in memory of the aboriginal people who died in exile on Rottnest Island Prison
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C) Two Cars, One Night (2004) - 12 min
This Academy nominated short about some Maori kids fooling around in the parking lot while waiting for their elders was quite sweet.
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D) Ganggu mama, 12 min
Young aboriginal boy torn between his delinquent friends and the old ways of the bush as personified in his uncle. Worth catching.
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E) No Way to Forget (1996), 11 min
Richard Frankland was the first Indigenous director to win an AFI Award for this short about aboriginal deaths in custody. Good performance by David Ngoombujarra.
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#21

Post by albajos » September 1st, 2016, 3:19 pm

| Duoddara árbi (Paul-Anders Simma, 1994) - Documentary 50m (aka Legacy of the Tundra)
1 Iisko-Matti ja rakkaus (Paul-Anders Simma, 2002) - 19m (aka The Story of Artic Love)

Earlier this year I saw Same Jakki (1957) which was a more fun documentary about Samis that follow the herd (and a made up love story), but as a nature documentary of the 50s it's excellent.. Now 40 years later it's rather real and gritty fighting bureaucracy and thives alike. We follow a 18-year-old that train reindeer for the opening cermony of the Olympic Games Lillehammer 1994 while deciding if he want to continue that way of life or kill his herd.

The short is fictional, but the plot is that they can't become a couple since he doesn't own any reindeer. And much talk about sami beliefs and predictions.

!seen 1

So movies to add about Sami
Laila (1929)
Same Jakki (1957)
Ante (1976)
Duoddara árbi (1994)
Iisko-Matti ja rakkaus (2002)
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#22

Post by monty » September 1st, 2016, 4:03 pm

3. (ca. 60 minutes of shorts)

A) Sikumi (2008) - (15min)
An Inuit becomes a witness to murder while out hunting on the ice. Good stuff!
(A deserved winner of the Jury Prize for Short Filmmaking at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.)
Image

B ) Running Deer (2013) - (25min)
A so-so story about a native athlete struggling to find his way.
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C) I Am Yu'Pik (2016) - (17min)
Nice docu about the importance basketball plays for the Yu'Pik community.
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#23

Post by monty » September 1st, 2016, 4:13 pm

@albajos: Welcome to this challenge - good to have you. (Btw, how are things at diskuterfilm nowadays?) Regarding the Sami stuff, are Duoddara árbi (1994) & Iisko-Matti ja rakkaus (2002) easily available anywhere with English subs?
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#24

Post by monty » September 1st, 2016, 5:50 pm

4. (60 min worth of shorts)

A) Warbrick (2009) - (12 min)
About the New Zealand Natives rugby team during the trailblazing 1888-89 tour (17 months and a staggering 107 matches). A rousing drama.
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B ) Taua (2007) - (15 min)
A Maori warrior party has imprisoned an enemy leader and hauls their war canoe through the forest, hurrying to get back home. Nice stuff!
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C) Toba (2007) - (10 min)
About the Toba, one of the few tribes not conquered by the Inca empire. Amateur hour in the worst sense: poor directing, shitty acting and non-existent story. In a word, awful.
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D) La voz de las cigarras (2005) - (14 min)
A bunch of Indians confessing their sins, chewing peyote - then a killing takes place. Didn't care much for this one.
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E) Tatuushi (2010)
A Venezuelan short about how modern strip mining pushes indigenous people away from their lands. Sadly, not particularly memorable.
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#25

Post by albajos » September 1st, 2016, 7:11 pm

monty on Sep 1 2016, 10:13:09 AM wrote:@albajos: Welcome to this challenge - good to have you. (Btw, how are things at diskuterfilm nowadays?) Regarding the Sami stuff, are Duoddara árbi (1994) & Iisko-Matti ja rakkaus (2002) easily available anywhere with English subs?
It was once. My DVD is subbed in english, norwegian, swedish, finnish and sami

There is a database here, by the way: http://www.skabmagovat.fi/samifilm/sear ... at%5B%5D=5

And a shorter norwegian version. https://samisk.me/filmer/ But some of those are plotwise not sami. (You can change the location without changing the plot, like Simma's short film Let's Dance, that is an universal coming-of-age story)

Haven't been at df for an eternity. Seems there only was 1-2 posts a month there.

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#26

Post by monty » September 1st, 2016, 8:24 pm

Tx for those sweet links, albajos. Will be looking into it.

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#27

Post by monty » September 1st, 2016, 10:16 pm

5. Kingpin (1985)
Ok drama about Maori teen boys in a borstal. (Background: "Kingpin was originally based on the stories of a group of male teenagers who were wards of the state in Kohitere, an actual boys' home in Levin, which was still being used during the mid 1980s. There were a number of these boys' homes during the 70s and 80s: Owairaka, Hokio, Kohitere and Epuni being just a few. They housed young teens who were on the brink of either entering adult prisons, or moving into more destructive behavioural patterns; Kohitere and homes like these were intended as a buffer to hopefully deter these teens from 'delinquint' paths.
Interestingly, one of the leads (Riki) had been a ward of the state himself, and had completed six months at Kohitere."
)
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#28

Post by monty » September 1st, 2016, 11:59 pm

Things are moving rather slowly here. What's up, Local? Peaceful? I expected more of you. B)

Ok then, time for three Maori ghost stories:

6. (66 min of shorts)

A) Mataku: Sands of Time (2002) - 22min
The best of this trio. The two children of a modern Maori family get possessed by their ancestors' spirits. Great opening scene and what's not to love about the Exorcist vibes later on. Also, a real sweet love story.
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B ) Mataku: Going to War (2002) - 22min
A young Maori soldier gets to meet his uncle who died in WW2. I found this one so-so.
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C) Mataku: The Final Plume (2002) - 22min
A Maori boy commits heinous acts while being possessed by his ancestors. A middle-of-the-road effort.
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#29

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 2nd, 2016, 12:22 am

monty on Sep 1 2016, 05:59:30 PM wrote:Things are moving rather slowly here. What's up, Local? Peaceful? I expected more of you. B)

It's September 1st! I'm planning to watch a movie when I get home. :geek:

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#30

Post by monty » September 2nd, 2016, 1:39 am

7. (A total of approximately 60 min.)

A) Waka Huia: Te Kahautu Maxwell (2014) - (29 min.)
A real interesting insight into Maori beliefs and customs. The experiences and knowledge of this man held me spellbound throughout.
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B ) Waka Huia: Paitangi Ostick (29 min.)

An inspirational portrait of a Maori woman artist who in open defiance of tradition has taken up traditional male preserves, like the art of Maori body and face markings as well as carving. Well worth a watch!
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#31

Post by allisoncm » September 2nd, 2016, 3:44 am

I'm in for a few. I think Monty has seen today more than I plan to see all month, but I'll still participate.

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#32

Post by Nathan Treadway » September 2nd, 2016, 10:30 am

So, focusing on Maori for now? I'm still sort of curious to see what you think of Broken Rainbow. ;)
iCM

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)

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#33

Post by monty » September 2nd, 2016, 2:40 pm

Good to have you, allie. @nathan: No worries, I'll get to that docu soon. How about you, will you catch a few for this challenge, too?

8. Cochochi (2007)
An intriguing drama about how two young Raramuri brothers react when their grandfather's horse goes missing. Interestingly, the telling of this tale is on Raramuri terms. "In fact, the directors came up with the story for the film after meeting the two boys, who lived with their uncle and aunt in San Ignacio de Avareko, a town with more than 2,000 Raramuri. The story developed from a question posed to the boys: what would happen if you lost your grandfather's horse? The directors not only allowed them to develop the script from their own experiences but relied on them to translate Spanish into their native dialect. If there are moments when the characters appear to be thinking about what to say next, it's because they are actually translating what needs to be said."
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#34

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 2nd, 2016, 5:58 pm

Image

1. In the Land of the Head Hunters (renamed In the Land of the War Canoes)(Curtis, 1914)
+
The Image Maker and the Indians: E.S. Curtis and His 1914 Kwakiutl Movie (1979)

I finally got to see this silent classic, and it seemed an appropriate way to begin this challenge. As a story, the film is coherent but a tad clumsy. However, that is not the main interest here. The photography is occasionally quite strikingly beautiful, especially for the time and conditions, but the true value of this movie is as anthropological document. Even if the housing, canoes, costumes, and other artifacts largely had to be recreated for this film, they were created by many of the same generation that had used them not too long before, and that makes this movie an invaluable link to the traditional past of the Kwakiutl people. And all of this produced eight years before Nanook of the North would come out.

The 16-minute making-of documentary on the same DVD is informative, albeit slightly dry. It answered three-quarters of the questions I found myself asking while watching the original. It doesn't, however, address the sensitive cultural tropes seen and even emphasized in the film, such as issues of severed heads as war trophies and slavery. I would like to know what might have been Curtis' interest in the lurid and what was simply accurate for the traditional lifestyles depicted.

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#35

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 2nd, 2016, 6:11 pm

By the way, I grew up in Los Angeles, and when I was a teenager I was fascinated to learn about the indigenous peoples who had inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish, and to learn that many of the names I had grown up with were from these peoples.

A small sampling:

From the Chumash people (who occupied the coast from Malibu up through Morro Bay) -- Malibu, Lompoc, Ojai, Pismo Beach, Port Hueneme, Lake Castaic, Saticoy, Simi Valley

From the Tongva people (who moved into the Valley and Topanga Canyon) -- Topanga, Pacoima, Tujunga, Rancho Cucamunga, Azusa, Cahuenga.

I used to know a lot more, but I had to look at Wikipedia to remember these. But essentially, after a while you get used to the feel of each people's names and it's not hard to predict which tribe is connected with which name.

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#36

Post by monty » September 2nd, 2016, 7:00 pm

@Local: You sure took your time - I'd almost given up on you. B) And yes, it's quite interesting how geographical names is a reflection of indigenous heritage - too bad then that many are unaware of that fact.


9. Bastardy (2008)
A documentary portrait of Jack Charles, the famous Australian aboriginal actor (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, etc.) and co-founder of Australia's first indigenous theatre company. A real depressing watch, what with the protagonist struggling with a decades-long drug addiction, which lands him in jail repeatedly, and sleeping on the streets trying to score the next hit when not incarcerated. Being part of the Stolen Generations sure plays a part in how his life took such a bad turn.
Image
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#37

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 2nd, 2016, 9:08 pm

monty on Sep 2 2016, 01:00:00 PM wrote:
@Local: You sure took your time - I'd almost given up on you.
I think we are on different planes of existence when it comes to challenges. I watched a movie on the very first day and logged it the next morning. That's pretty good for me! :lol: I have never been one to see 40, 50, 100 films for a challenge. First, I just don't usually have that kind of time. Second, I usually don't even want to see, say, 40 German movies or 40 noirs in a row, because they will inevitably blend together for me, and I'll get much less out the experience than I would watching them separately. That said, I'm excited about this challenge and would love to watch a canoe-load ( :P ) of movies, but my new semester starts on Tuesday, so it won't be easy. I'll see what I can manage.
B) And yes, it's quite interesting how geographical names is a reflection of indigenous heritage - too bad then that many are unaware of that fact.
It definitely is, and entire cultural treatises could be (and surely have been) written on this alone. In the States, indigenous names remaining in U.S. American cultural geography fall into a range of categories:
little tangent aheadShow
1. The Indians called a place something, and then the first white settlers keep that name, at worst mangling the name in the process. This is the most straightforward.

2. The first whites misconstrue what the Indians called the area and project a name onto the place erroneously. Really common.

3. The whites seek to "honor" the Indian inhabitants by lending an Indian name to the place where those Indians lived, but only after the Indians have been massacred, displaced, absorbed, incarcerated, or culturally "tamed." In this case, the naming is less an actual honorific; it serves as more of a label of conquest: "Consciously or unconsciously, we relegate you to the past, and place your name into geographical lore, akin to honoring the local Bigfoot legends or forest sprites."

There are examples of this beyond count, but one that has always stuck in my mind is the name for a beautiful alpine lake in Yosemite National Park (in Northern California). For many generations, the Ahwahnechee people inhabited Yosemite Valley (which, btw, is the most beautiful place on Earth!), but contact with the whites wiped out a lot of them through disease, and then the whites military fought and forcibly removed the rest of them, including their leader Chief Tenaya. Tenaya would eventually be killed in fights with the military, but while he was still alive, he found out that the whites had named one of the Yosemite lakes Lake Tenaya. I had heard that someone told him this, expecting he'd find it a great honor. Supposedly, he replied saying that the lake already had a name (which in their language meant "lake of the shining rocks"), and more importantly, ascribing a human's name to a sacred place of nature was to his people a horrible abomination. It desecrates the sacred spirituality of the lake and it forever tars his own person with this sacrilege.

It is called Lake Tenaya to this day.
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#38

Post by 3eyes » September 2nd, 2016, 9:57 pm

1. Shorts:
1a. Taua (NZ 07) - 15m
1b. Warbrick (NZ 09 - 12m)
1c. Tama tu (NZ 05 - 17m)
1d. Weewar (NZ 06 - 8m)
1e. Two cars, one night (NZ 03 - 12m)
2. Boy (NZ 10)
:run: STILL the Gaffer!

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#39

Post by monty » September 2nd, 2016, 10:41 pm

10. Barking Water (2009)
Image
An indie roadmovie with a difference: a terminally ill Seminole Indian reconciles with his long lost love and together they go on a final road trip to visit his daughter. This is not a film with a lot of external action; essentially, it's a journey into self, a meditation on how to grow old and meet death gracefully. A thoroughly bleak watch and too longwinded by half - they really should have cut down on that bleating indie soundtrack as well.

11. Superchief (1999)
An engaging documentary about a corrupt Ojibwe tribal chief who - apart from skimming funds off the tribal casino, which he treats as his personal piggy bank - for decades has been engineering the tribal elections, which he accordingly ALWAYS ends up winning. With tribal casino profits in the millions annually, none of that money gets back to the tribe. Consequently, the White Earth Indian reservation is one of the poorest communities in Minnesota. The dirty tricks this slimeball of a tribal chairman pulls to stay in power know no bounds. Meanwhile, the Ojibwe community itself is bitterly divided over how to get him ousted. This all makes for a highly fascinating watch.

(Btw, has anyone here tried one of these cash machines?)
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Last edited by monty on September 2nd, 2016, 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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monty
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#40

Post by monty » September 2nd, 2016, 10:55 pm

3eyes on Sep 2 2016, 03:57:52 PM wrote:1. Shorts:
1a. Taua (NZ 07) - 15m
1b. Warbrick (NZ 09 - 12m)
1c. Tama tu (NZ 05 - 17m)
1d. Weewar (NZ 06 - 8m)
1e. Two cars, one night (NZ 03 - 12m)
2. Boy (NZ 10)
So which ones did you like (if any) and which did you hate? Good to see you finally get started here, hehe.
Last edited by monty on September 2nd, 2016, 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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