DER Documentary

Imagining Indians

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by Victor Masayesva Jr.
color, 60 min, 1992


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With an all-Indian crew, Victor Masayesva visited tribal communities in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Washington and the Amazon to produce this film. Masayesva says, "Coming from a village which became embroiled in the filming of Darkwind, a Hollywood production on the Hopi Reservation, I felt a keen responsibility as a community member, not an individual, to address these impositions on our tribal lives.

Even as our communities say no, outsiders are responding to this as a challenge instead of respecting our feelings... I have come to believe that the sacred aspects of our existence which encourages the continuity and vitality of Native peoples are being manipulated by an aesthetic in which money is the most important qualification. This contradicts the values intrinsic to what's sacred and may destroy our substance. I am concerned about a tribal and community future which is reflected in my film and I hope this challenges the viewer to overcome glamorized Hollywood views of the Native American, which obscures the difficult demands of walking the spiritual road of our ancestors."

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York, 1993
Envisioning Native Americans, NYU, 1992
Onthullen om te Overleven Film Festival, Amsterdam, 1992
Society for Visual Anthropology Film Festival, 1994
Native American Film and Video Festival, NYC 1995
Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival, 2007

Related Films
6 Generations
Itam Hakim Hopiit
Indian Self Rule: A Problem of History

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