An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cross-Cultural Cinema: Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action

Before diving in to a discussion about the latest edition of cross-cultural cinema, I think some background is in order.

A few years ago, I spent just about 2 years living on a Native American reservation - specifically the Hopi reservation in northeast Arizona. My wife is a mental health therapist and we were out there through a government program with her doing therapy (counseling) with teenagers. As for me, I actually telecommuted to my job here in the D.C. area. We drove two hours to a grocery store, but I worked for a major consulting firm in D.C! Kind of funny how that works. Anyway, I could go on and on about my experiences on "the rez", but all that is to really say that I have a particular interest in Native issues and so this film was of particular interest to me.

The film (Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action) looked at three Native peoples (actually four, but due to time constraints we only viewed three) - the Northern Cheyenne in Montana, the Penobscot in Maine, and the Gwichiin in Alaska. The film chronicled each tribes struggles with companies and the government over environmental issues. In addition to the film, the library arranged for a speaker from the National Museum of the American Indian(I forget his name) who was very knowledgeable of the issues and gave great insight in between each story.

This particular blog isn't the form for discussing the specifics of the issues (although if you would like, feel free to add your comments below)

What I do want to say, and I know I've said it here before, but it really does bear repeating. Cross-cultural cinema is a fabulous program. Every one I've been too invigorates my mind, and leaves me plenty of thinking (and discussion) to do. You might not think a library is a particularly exciting place to watch a movie - although Central Library Auditorium is actually very nice, but it's hard to find such thought provoking, stimulating films at most traditional theatres -- and, of course, the price is right (FREE)!

So, I strongly encourage you to check out cross-cultural cinema. You can view the library calendar of events, and also keep checking What's Up Arlington! Check it out! I think you'll be glad you did. And if you're ever going, let me know, there's a good chance I'll be there too.


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