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.”
In this moving visual poem, Christopher McLeod explores why certain places are held to be sacred and how wilderness nourishes the soul. Stories include a Hawaiian protest against geothermal drilling in the Wao Kele O Puna rainforest, the vision song of Southern Ute elder Eddie Box, and an interview with Earth First founder Dave Foreman.
The legendary Winnemem Wintu healer, Florence Jones (1907-2003), passed on leadership of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe to Caleen Sisk over a decade ago. Although Chief Sisk is recognized the world over as a powerful indigenous leader, the U.S. government continues its failure to recognize the Winnemem Wintu.
Once each year, the Winnemem Wintu make a summer pilgrimage to their sacred spring on Mt Shasta, the source of the McCloud River, to conduct a healing ceremony. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, New Age offerings — mostly in the form of crystals — disrupted the start of the ceremony as designated men had to clean the spring by removing all foreign objects.