Ten years in the making, In the Light of Reverence explores American culture’s relationship to nature in three places considered sacred by native peoples, Devils Tower in Wyoming, Hopiland in Arizona and Mt. Shasta in California. Broadcast on the PBS documentary series POV.
The birth of the radical environmental movement is captured in this short, poetic film on the legendary direct action at Glen Canyon Dam in March of 1981.
There’s a story that has has played out all over the world. First come the missionaries doing good. Indigenous communities split apart and connections to land, ancestors and spirits of place weaken—not everywhere, but almost everywhere.
Hopi elder Thomas Banyacya (1909-1999) was selected as spokesman for traditional leaders in 1948, after atom bombs triggered Hopi awareness that the prophecized “gourd full of ashes” had finally appeared. We worked with Thomas from 1977 through 1999 and were fortunate to film him at Chaco Canyon, in Washington DC, and at sacred migration sites around the Four Corners area. His humor, good spirit and wisdom will be long remembered.
Speaking before the explosion of smartphones, Deloria predicts an age where humans can no longer separate themselves from their machines. “I don’t think people are built for that psychologically,” he says. “I think it’s gonna blow.”