DER Documentary

Beyond Recognition

by Michelle Grace Steinberg
co-produced by Michelle Grace Steinberg and Robyn Bykofsky
color, 25 min, 2014
in English and Chochenyo


After decades struggling to protect her ancestors' burial places, now engulfed by San Francisco's sprawl, a Native woman from a federally unrecognized tribe and her allies occupy a development site to prevent desecration of sacred ground. When this fails to stop the development, they vow to follow a new path: to establish the first women-led urban Indigenous land trust. Beyond Recognition tells the inspiring story of women creating opportunities to preserve Native culture and homeland in a society bent on erasing them.

Through cinéma vérité, interviews, and stunning footage of the land, the film introduces Corrina Gould, Johnella LaRose, and Indian People Organizing for Change as they embark on an incredible journey to transform the way we see cities. The film invites viewers to examine their own relationship to place, revealing histories that have been buried by shifting landscapes.

Beyond Recognition points to the intersection of human rights, women's rights, and environmental protection, spotlighting a California story that has worldwide resonance.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Best Short, San Francisco Green Film Festival, 2015
American Indian Film Festival, 2015
Human Rights Film Festival, 2015
Cinequest Film Festival, 2015
Wild & Scenic Film Festival, 2015
Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, 2015
Native Spirit Film Festival, London, 2015

TV Broadcasts
Public Television, National series Natural Heroes, 2016
Public Television, National prime time broadcasts, 2015
Public Television, National broadcaster First Nations Experience (FNX), 2015
Premiere, Public television on KRCB for Native American Heritage Month, 2014 and Women's History Month, 2015

Related Resources
Filmmaker Site
Film Site
Film Facebook Page
The Sogorea Te Land Trust

Related Films
6 Generations
Across the Americas: Indigenous Perspectives

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts