Alaska Native Film Series
october 30 Reel Injun
Hollywood has made over 4000 films about Native people; over 100 years of movies defining how Indians are seen by the world. Reel Injun takes an entertaining and insightful look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through the history of cinema. Travelling through the heartland of America, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond looks at how the myth of “the Injun” has influenced the world’s understanding—and misunderstanding—of Natives.
november 6 On the Ice
In this engrossing and suspenseful feature film debut by filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers go about their lives in the comfortable claustrophobia of an isolated Alaskan town. Early one morning, teenagers Qalli and Aivaaq find their bond tested when a seal-hunting trip goes tragically wrong. With their future in the balance, they are forced to explore the limits of friendship and honor. Featuring breakout performances by Josiah Patkotak and Frank Qutuq Irelan.
November 13 The Yup'ik Way
A portrait of a Yup’ik village in southwestern Alaska trying to hold on to its traditional way of life, while also being a part of the western world. Hooper Bay, or Naparyarmiut, is the largest native Yup’ik village in southwestern Alaska. Of the 1,023 village inhabitants, 62% are under 18 years of age. With the majority of the village being so young, traditional ways of life are diminishing by the lure of western culture, technology, and language. Filmmaker Beth Edwards captures elders and youth navigating their way through two worlds.
November 20 Smoke Signals
Directed and co-produced by Chris Eyre with a screenplay by Sherman Alexie, this film is based on the short story “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” from the book Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The story centers on Victor Joseph and Thomas BuildstheFire who live on the Coeur D’Alene Indian Reservation in Plummer, Idaho. Thomas is an eccentric storyteller and Victor is an angry, brooding local basketball star, and they are linked by Victor’s father, Arnold Joseph, who takes them on an epic journey off the reservation.
November 27 History of the Iñupiat: Project Chariot
In 1958, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission planned to detonate thermonuclear bombs near North America’s oldest continually inhabited settlement. This documentary by Iñupiaq filmmaker Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson tells the dramatic story of an Inupiaq village that stopped the most powerful agency of its time.
Alaska Native Languages & Studies Program, Wooch.een & Waqaa Student Groups