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Indigenous Narratives Challenge

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monty
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Indigenous Narratives Challenge

#41

Post by monty » September 2nd, 2016, 11:05 pm

@Local: Dunno if I'll be able to keep up this pace of watching throughout the month but there's something about this topic that does make me want to discover ever more. There's a large untapped reservoir of great indigenous filmmaking out there in search of an audience - hopefully, this challenge will raise awareness here about that fact. Anyhow, I do expect for you to make it into the double digits at the very least. B)

Also, thanks for sharing that story about Chief Tenaya. It all does make one groan and shake one's head in despair.
Last edited by monty on September 2nd, 2016, 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#42

Post by PeacefulAnarchy » September 2nd, 2016, 11:35 pm

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)
I'll be here in a few days, want to get some action done first.

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#43

Post by monty » September 3rd, 2016, 3:13 am

12. The Battle for Whiteclay (2008)
This harrowing documentary chronicles how the killing off of Native Americans continues to this day, all in the name of free enterprise. With a population of fourteen, Whiteclay, Nebraska, has four liquor stores, which sell "nearly 5 million cans of beer annually (12,500 cans a day)" to residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is located right across the state line. This is the sole reason Whiteclay exists. The social, economic and cultural damage to the Lakota community is incalculable. Not that this in any way causes the enterprising liquor store owners (or state/local authorities) to lose any sleep. After all, Whiteclay alcohol sales is a lucrative affair for both business owners and government. (In 2010, gross sales totaled $3 million, while federal and state excise taxes (included in liquor’s sale price) constituted $413,932). One of the beer peddlers points out that he has to make a living somehow and this is as good a way (if not better) as any other.
Ever since 1832, the sale, possession and consumption of alcohol has been prohibited within the borders of the reservation by order of the Oglala Sioux tribal council. Witnessing the uphill struggle the Oglala Sioux face as they try to end the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay forever is depressing as it soon becomes evident that the powers-that-be really aren't interested in any substantive change. Business as usual prevails.

Image

Some interesting background to this story:

In 1882, after the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation were already established, by executive order the United States government added a 50-square-mile (130 km2) strip of land in Nebraska known as the White Clay Extension (named after White Clay Creek) to the reservation. The area was created to serve as a buffer zone to help prevent the sale of alcohol to residents of the reservation. The language of the order said that the buffer zone would be used until it was no longer considered necessary.

In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order that removed 49 of the 50 square miles (130 km2) of the White Clay Extension from the reservation. There was no consultation with the Oglala Sioux Tribe as to whether they believed this was useful. Traders immediately established a post near the reservation border and started selling alcohol, and most of their customers came from the nearby reservation. The trading post developed as the unincorporated community of Pine Ridge, commonly known as Whiteclay. Oglala Sioux have appealed to the federal government for another executive order to withdraw the buffer from public domain. They contend that because Roosevelt never demonstrated that the need for the buffer did not exist, the executive order was invalid. However, this appeal has fallen on deaf ears.
Last edited by monty on September 3rd, 2016, 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#44

Post by Nathan Treadway » September 3rd, 2016, 5:47 am

I'll try to get a few in. I'm not too sure, though. It's way too niche of a topic, and there's really not much in my personal goals, which take precedent at the moment.

We'll see.
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“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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#45

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 3rd, 2016, 6:18 pm

Image

2. Powwow Highway (Wacks, 1989)

This movie has its heart in a good place, seeking to restore Native American pride, and I'd guess that it was meaningful to a number of people when it came out. In terms of its message, it eschews violent militancy (the movie makes a number of direct and indirect references to the American Indian Movement and Leonard Peltier's shooting of federal agents in 1975), and the hotheaded hero who wears an A.I.M. t-shirt throughout is the one who is being educated. Instead, the movie advocates spiritual and cultural connection to tradition as a means to galvanize a people. That said, even this message is blurred quite a bit by the end.

But whatever might be said about the theme of the film, what can't be escaped is the fact that as art this movie is pure 80s schlock. The casting and acting are mostly quite poor, but the writing and direction are especially horrendous, producing many, many cringe-worthy lines and scenes. Still, despite the schlock, I can't say I regret seeing it.
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#46

Post by monty » September 3rd, 2016, 7:39 pm

13. Crooked Earth (2001)
A Maori drama in sore need of a good director, editor and writer. Sadly then, this film is far from being in the Once-Were-Warriors league. On the upside, Temuera Morrison and Lawrence Makoare have a few good scenes.

Image
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#47

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 3rd, 2016, 7:53 pm

Heh -- sounds like we saw similar films.

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#48

Post by monty » September 3rd, 2016, 8:05 pm

Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi on Sep 3 2016, 01:53:18 PM wrote:Heh -- sounds like we saw similar films.
Indeed. For the record, I share your views on Powwow Highway. I expect you'll find Smoke Signals better. Btw, will you be finishing the Fast Runner trilogy?

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#49

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 3rd, 2016, 8:26 pm

monty on Sep 3 2016, 02:05:56 PM wrote:
Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi on Sep 3 2016, 01:53:18 PM wrote:Heh -- sounds like we saw similar films.
Indeed. For the record, I share your views on Powwow Highway. I expect you'll find Smoke Signals better. Btw, will you be finishing the Fast Runner trilogy?
Smoke Signals DVD has arrived from Netflix, so that should be next -- looking forward to it!

I hadn't really planned to see the Fast Runner sequels, but we'll see.

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#50

Post by monty » September 3rd, 2016, 8:38 pm

Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi on Sep 3 2016, 02:26:31 PM wrote:I hadn't really planned to see the Fast Runner sequels, but we'll see.
You really should. In the words of Chris Eyre himself, "The Fast Runner [Atanarjuat] is the most Indian movie ever made. It's much more Indian than Smoke Signals. Smoke Signals was made for Indian people but also certainly for the overculture. When you get a movie like The Fast Runner you say to yourself, this is an inside job." Like Jesse Wente, an Ojibway film critic, underlines: "Those movies made in the North are incredibly special. They're progress. They are finally an aboriginal cinema that isn't someone else's. The gaze is ours."
Btw, you did notice this link, right?
Last edited by monty on September 3rd, 2016, 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#51

Post by allisoncm » September 4th, 2016, 7:31 pm

1. Australia Rules - It was filmed like it was a TV movie. Very boring with the camera movements. The story was okay. I felt some of it was contrived
Spoiler: click to toggleShow
with the abusive father and such
but it was okay. I have about two more on my list for this challenge.

PS-admins could this be moved to the top even though it's an unofficial challenge? Thanks

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#52

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 4th, 2016, 7:38 pm

Image
The one in glasses really steals the show.

3. Smoke Signals (Eyre, 1998)

I've wanted to see this film ever since it came out -- in part, because of the input of Sherman Alexie, and in part because it was praised as an indigenous landmark in several respects. I was on the whole disappointed, but it has a few really excellent moments, and I'm still glad I finally got to watch it.

It's interesting that this movie's most famous moment is when one young man tells another that he has to have a stoic warrior look all the time in order for whites to respect them (and rightly so -- these scenes on the bus are the best in the film), and yet ironically the biggest innovation of the film (and of Sherman Alexie's writing) is the injection of humor into the American Indian experience, even when describing something painful.

It is amazing that I happened to see this film after Powwow Highway by sheer coincidence, because the parallels between the two almost make it feel as if I watched a remake or sequel.
Parallels between Powwow Highway and Smoke SignalsShow
Both films have similarly poor writing and direction, resulting in clumsy, heavy-handed scenes and awkwardly foisted side characters. That said, Smoke Signals is a slight step up on the whole, and it has some moments of true excellence that PH does not. But on the whole, it just feels as if the schlocky 80s film became a 90s indie movie.

Gary Farmer plays a major role in both, switching son/father generations in the later film.

Plot parallels:

In both movies we have two young friends, one more athletic and traditionally handsome, but also very angry and militant and pessimistic. At the beginning of the film he rejects Indian traditions as useless.

The other friend is dorky and socially awkward, but likes to tell rambling stories connected with his people's lore. He often closes his eyes when he tells these stories, because he's dorky but also as if he's tapping into an inner spirit, almost as if it were shamanic astral projection. The dorky friend speaks of interest in powwows and he yearns to have a spiritual vision.

The angry friend has no patience for these stories and frequently tells him to shut up, shutting down this knowledge as useless, as harmful fantasy.

The angry friend then finds out he must travel because of a family member, leaving home in far north (Montana/Idaho) for a state in the Southwest (New Mexico/Arizona). The angry guy is anxious to go as quickly as possible, but the actual means for the trip are supplied by the dorky friend. A long road trip commences.

They meet a blonde woman with deep southern accent along way.

Ultimately, the main difference is that Powwow Highway is about two young men finding their identities through their relation to the cultural past, whereas Smoke Signals does the exact same, but using the metaphor of the father figure to do it.

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#53

Post by monty » September 4th, 2016, 10:32 pm

14. Dance Me Outside (1994)
Dealing with life on a First Nations Reserve in Ontario, this film failed to live up to all the praise that's been heaped upon it. The comedy elements were too broad (in particular, the protagonists' channeling of Bill&Ted soon grew stale). Additionally, I wasn't convinced by the revenge plot at all and the twist ending was totally unnecessary and felt like a cop-out. Was kinda fun though to note that all the whites in this film are portrayed as white-trash sleazeballs or gullible morons - such reverse racial stereotyping must feel satisfying to Native American audiences.
Incidentally, this was the film that launched the career of Adam Beach.
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Last edited by monty on September 4th, 2016, 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#54

Post by monty » September 4th, 2016, 11:05 pm

@Local: Yeah, the glasses guy (Evan Adams) is the one reason to watch that film indeed. Did you know that he based his performance wholly on his grandma? She sure must be a saintly person.

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#55

Post by Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi » September 4th, 2016, 11:12 pm

monty on Sep 4 2016, 05:05:33 PM wrote:@Local: Yeah, the glasses guy (Evan Adams) is the one reason to watch that film indeed. Did you know that he based his performance wholly on his grandma? She sure must be a saintly person.
Well, in one of the last scenes in the film that character
Very slight spoilerShow
comes home to his grandmother and embraces her, and we see that she wears the same glasses and has all the same mannerisms as her grandson.

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#56

Post by monty » September 4th, 2016, 11:20 pm

Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi on Sep 4 2016, 05:12:33 PM wrote:
monty on Sep 4 2016, 05:05:33 PM wrote:@Local: Yeah, the glasses guy (Evan Adams) is the one reason to watch that film indeed. Did you know that he based his performance wholly on his grandma? She sure must be a saintly person.
Well, in one of the last scenes in the film that character
Very slight spoilerShow
comes home to his grandmother and embraces her, and we see that she wears the same glasses and has all the same mannerisms as her grandson.
In the docu "Reel Injun", Chris Eyre tells that he asked Evans during the shooting of Smoke Signals what he was playing/doing because he couldn't place it. Evans then replied that he was simply playing his granny. Obviously, the ending of the film is a nod to this fact. Pretty sure Evans felt flattered by that directorial seal of approval.
Last edited by monty on September 4th, 2016, 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#57

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 12:51 am

allisoncm on Sep 4 2016, 01:31:49 PM wrote:I have about two more on my list for this challenge.
Just two more? Really? Come on, allie, surely you can do better?
Considering you only watch official lists stuff (yeah, I understand that life at the top of the iCM heap takes a toll), allow me to suggest you go for the following, none of which you have seen and all of which will bag you glorified official checks:

https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/geronima/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/cochochi/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/el+ ... pachamama/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/ori ... evo+mundo/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/sam ... ah-2009-1/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/beneath+clouds/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... r+of+dawn/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... rasmussen/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/black+harvest/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/kan ... esistance/
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#58

Post by RBG » September 5th, 2016, 1:09 am

a lot of mexican films could fit here. servando gonzalez' yanco is in nahuatl. macario is a pretty famous one. once you're among the campesinos it's basically indian country. canoa is pretty amazing. even animas trujano with mifune would likely fit. it's on youtube

Image

:lol:
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#59

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 1:15 am

You've got the spirit, RBG. Why don't you come join us for this challenge? The more, the merrier.

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#60

Post by RBG » September 5th, 2016, 1:16 am

hmm i'll see what i can find. how long does this go on :turned: i've got this film about cabeza de vaca i've been meaning to get to.

btw has anyone seen this film about the inca...starring christopher plummer and robert shaw!?! don't watch it ^_^
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#61

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 1:18 am

RBG on Sep 4 2016, 07:16:41 PM wrote:hmm i'll see what i can find. how long does this go on :turned:
Through this month. Have a look at the first post for viewing suggestions. Looking forward to more of your input.
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#62

Post by RBG » September 5th, 2016, 1:25 am

oh! i've got this old series with david attenborough called the tribal eye. would this count??

i think i've got some other stuff lying around too :thumbsup:
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#63

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 1:35 am

RBG on Sep 4 2016, 07:25:45 PM wrote:oh! i've got this old series with david attenborough called the tribal eye. would this count??
I'm afraid not as it's from an outsider's perspective. How about checking out The Fast Runner Trilogy? Get 'em all for free in glorious 720p HD here. Additionally, if you browse this list, you'll find that most (esp. the documentaries) can be seen on YouTube, like this one.
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#64

Post by RBG » September 5th, 2016, 1:38 am

ahh thanks. i've seen the first fast runner, didn't know there were more. it was great
films in which the primary focus is on non-natives and how they somehow get educated/enlightened by encountering indigenous people are excluded
hmm i think this lets cabeza de vaca out :pinch:
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#65

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 1:44 am

RBG on Sep 4 2016, 07:38:59 PM wrote:ahh thanks. i've seen the first fast runner, didn't know there were more. it was great
Yeah, it's a glorious piece of filmmaking indeed. Make sure to avail yourself of that incredibly generous download offer - the films do look nice in 720p.
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#66

Post by RBG » September 5th, 2016, 2:13 am

i recommend how tasty was my little frenchman if you haven't seen it, it's a lot of fun. plus it's in four official lists!

Image

not sure it actually fits the criteria of this challenge tehe
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#67

Post by 3eyes » September 5th, 2016, 3:13 am

3. Daughter of Dawn (20)
Spoiler: click to toggleShow
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)
3. Daughter of Dawn (20)
:run: STILL the Gaffer!

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#68

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 3:16 am

3eyes on Sep 4 2016, 09:13:30 PM wrote:3. Daughter of Dawn (20)
Spoiler: click to toggleShow
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)
3. Daughter of Dawn (20)
Netflix, right? Btw, did you like any of the shorts?

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#69

Post by allisoncm » September 5th, 2016, 3:44 am

monty on Sep 4 2016, 06:51:19 PM wrote:
allisoncm on Sep 4 2016, 01:31:49 PM wrote:I have about two more on my list for this challenge.
Just two more? Really? Come on, allie, surely you can do better?
Considering you only watch official lists stuff (yeah, I understand that life at the top of the iCM heap takes a toll), allow me to suggest you go for the following, none of which you have seen and all of which will bag you glorified official checks:

https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/geronima/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/cochochi/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/el+ ... pachamama/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/ori ... evo+mundo/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/sam ... ah-2009-1/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/beneath+clouds/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... r+of+dawn/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/the ... rasmussen/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/black+harvest/
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/kan ... esistance/
Dead Heart and Beneath Clouds are on my list.

The Daughter of Dawn is on Netflix it seems, so I can probably catch that one.

I think 270 years of Resistance is on YouTube.

Can't seem to track down Black Harvest. IMDB said it was on Amazon Prime, but I couldn't find it in the search results.

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#70

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 4:13 am

I've supplied links for "270 years of Resistance" in the comments section.
Knud Rasmussen (part 2 of The Fast Runner Trilogy) is here.

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#71

Post by RBG » September 5th, 2016, 1:30 pm

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#72

Post by 3eyes » September 5th, 2016, 1:56 pm

monty on Sep 4 2016, 09:16:44 PM wrote:
3eyes on Sep 4 2016, 09:13:30 PM wrote:3. Daughter of Dawn (20)
Spoiler: click to toggleShow
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)
3. Daughter of Dawn (20)
Netflix, right? Btw, did you like any of the shorts?
Stop asking inconvenient questions, Egg.

"Two cars, one night" was delightful. "Weewar" - a familiar theme that always makes my blood boil. In "Tama tu" I was fascinated by the ease with which they communicated silently. (Also by the Native American Sign language in Daughter of Dawn, even in the love scenes. Imagine Garbo & Gilbert doing ASL.)
:run: STILL the Gaffer!

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#73

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 2:29 pm

Thanks for those articles, RBG. It's incredibly sad to see how big business is continually allowed to destroy the environment, all in in the name of making a fast buck. Here's hoping the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies get that pipeline stopped.

Also, disheartening to note how native peoples are still being seen as expendable by the powers-that-be:
"In 2014, the proposed route of DAPL went through Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, with roughly 61,000 residents, 92 percent of them white. After the Corps determined that the pipeline could contaminate drinking water, it was rerouted to pass by Standing Rock."

So it's not ok to have a pipeline when it pollutes drinking water for whites, but perfectly fine when it affects the drinking water of indigenous peoples? Oh, the hypocricy.

Anyhow, labeling this as purely indigenous news is wrong as putting an oil pipeline under a river that runs through four states (with the concomitant risk of spills contaminating drinking water) will affect everyone alike, not just indigenous people.
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#74

Post by blocho » September 5th, 2016, 3:51 pm

1. Kukuli
2. Bush Mechanics episode 1
Bush Mechanics episode 2

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#75

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 3:54 pm

Welcome, blocho. Did you enjoy Bush Mechanics?

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#76

Post by blocho » September 5th, 2016, 7:44 pm

monty on Sep 5 2016, 09:54:44 AM wrote:Welcome, blocho. Did you enjoy Bush Mechanics?
I'd actually watched an episode of Bush Mechanics way back in high school. I was head of the film club, and one of the teachers (who was not the faculty liaison, I might add) insisted that we use a club meeting to watch Bush Mechanics. So I ended up screening it just to make this guy happy, and then he didn't even show up for it.

Of course, that's neither here nor there. Yeah, it was more fun than I remembered. Strange and gonzo.

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#77

Post by mathiasa » September 5th, 2016, 8:17 pm

count me in. is there a deadline?

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#78

Post by monty » September 5th, 2016, 9:37 pm

mathiasa on Sep 5 2016, 02:17:05 PM wrote:count me in. is there a deadline?
Good to have you, mathiasa. We'll be going throughout this month, then we'll see...


15. Yolngu Boy (2001)
A tragic coming-of-age story focusing on a trio of aboriginal teenage boys who are caught between the pressures of Western society and the traditional ways. The director struggled for over a decade to get this - his first-time feature - made. The protagonists are all portrayed by first-time actors and it does show but their unpolished delivery somehow suits their characters. I liked how the film insists on taking an unsentimental look at the dilemmas facing aboriginal youths - there's no sugarcoating of harsh reality here.
All in all, a patchy and rough-around-the-edges effort but worth catching all the same.
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Last edited by monty on September 5th, 2016, 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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monty
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#79

Post by monty » September 9th, 2016, 2:17 pm

- "I will tell you as it was told to me..."
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16. DreamKeeper (2003)

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Going in my expectations were modest but boy did this turn out to be quite the treat! A young Oglala Lakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation reluctantly agrees to take his grandfather to a big powwow out of state. En route the old man tells his grandson Native American myths and legends, each tale highlighting a different tribal background. Gradually, the youngster comes to see the value in keeping one's heritage alive.
Extremely well-written and convincingly acted by the native cast (in particular, Eddie Spears and August Schellenberg shine), this moving celebration of First Nations heritage deserves a large audience.
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Last edited by monty on September 9th, 2016, 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#80

Post by RBG » September 10th, 2016, 12:32 am

an update on the dakota access pipeline: a federal judge ruled against the tribe's request for a preliminary injunction to halt construction -- but was immediately overruled by an unusual joint statement from the dept of justice, dept of the army and dept of the interior: a stunning development
this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects. Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions: (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.
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they also condemned violence against protesters by private contractors at the site. this is another setback for the fossil fuels industry after the defeat of the keystone pipeline last year and a huge victory for environmentalists and indigenous activists. go 'bama
Last edited by RBG on September 10th, 2016, 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
icm + ltbxd

NO GODS NO MASTERS

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