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Film and Media Collections

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November is Native American Heritage Month

This commemorative month aims to provide a platform for Native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life.

 

 

Suggested viewing:

More Than a Word : Native American-Based Sports Mascots (Media Education Foundation, 2017) The movement against Native American sports mascots has been gaining serious momentum over the past year, inspiring a long-overdue reckoning with one of the last socially acceptable forms of racial stereotyping. More Than a Word, which looks at this contentious issue through the eyes of Native Americans, can transform the conversation.This film is an ideal tool for opening up dialogue between students, faculty, staff, and the wider community about the personal and social costs of America’s long history of misappropriating indigenous identity and imagery for purposes of entertainment.

American Outrage (Bullfrog Films, 2008) Carrie and Mary Dann are feisty Western Shoshone sisters who have endured five terrifying livestock roundups by armed federal marshals in which more than a thousand of their horses and cattle were confiscated -- for grazing their livestock on the open range outside their private ranch. That range is part of 60 million acres recognized as Western Shoshone land by the United States in the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, but in 1974 the U.S. sued the Dann sisters for trespassing on that land, without a permit. That set off a dispute between the Dann sisters and the U. S. government that swept to the United States Supreme Court and eventually to the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

In Light of Reverence (Bullfrog Films, 2001) Across the USA, Native Americans are struggling to protect their sacred places. Religious freedom, so valued in America, is not guaranteed to those who practice land-based religion. Every year, more sacred sites - the land-based equivalent of the world's great cathedrals - are being destroyed. Strip mining and development cause much of the destruction. But rock climbers, tourists, and New Age religious practitioners are part of the problem, too. The biggest problem is ignorance. This film tells the story of three indigenous communities and the land they struggle to protect: the Lakota of the Great Plains, the Hopi of the Four Corners area, and the Wintu of northern California.

Coming to Light (Bullfrog Films, 2000) Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952) was a driven, charismatic, obsessive artist, a pioneer photographer who set out in 1900 to document traditional Indian life. He rose from obscurity to become the most famous photographer of his time, created an enormous body of work -- 10,000 recordings, 40,000 photographs, and a full length ethnographic motion picture -- and died poor and forgotten. His work was rediscovered in the 1970s and is now synonymous with photography of Indians. Coming to Light tells the dramatic story of Curtis' life, the creation of his monumental work, and his changing views of the people he set out to document. The film also gives Indian people a voice in the discussion of Curtis' images. Hopi, Navajo, Eskimo, Blackfeet, Crow, Blood, Piegan, Suquamish, and Kwakiutl people who are descended from Curtis subjects or who are using his photographs for cultural preservation respond to the pictures, tell stories about the people in the photographs, and discuss the meaning of the images.

The Mystery of Chaco Canyon (Bullfrog Films, 1999)  This film examines the deep enigmas presented by the massive prehistoric remains found in Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico. It is the summation of 20 years of research. The film reveals that between 850 and 1150 AD, the Chacoan people designed and constructed massive ceremonial buildings in a complex celestial pattern throughout a vast desert region. Aerial and time lapse footage, computer modeling, and interviews with scholars show how the Chacoan culture designed, oriented and located its major buildings in relationship to the sun and moon. Pueblo Indians, descendants of the Chacoan people, regard Chaco as a place where their ancestors lived in a sacred past. Pueblo leaders speak of the significance of Chaco to the Pueblo world today.

The Sun Dagger (Bullfrog Films, 1983) This classic, timeless film documents the extraordinary celestial calendar created by ancient North American Indians, and rediscovered by artist Anna Soafer, high on a butte in New Mexico. The 'dagger' is presently the only known site in the world that marks the extreme positions of both the sun and moon. The film explores the complex culture of the Anasazi Indians who constructed the calendar, and thrived both spiritually and materially in the harsh environment of Chaco Canyon a thousand years ago.

 



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