Indigenous Cinema '22
Week Two November 18 – 21, 2022

"2050" feat. Jhon Jota "el indio del Rap" (Nasa)

Title: "2050" feat. Jhon Jota "el indio del Rap" (Nasa)
Release Date: 2016
Runtime: 3:00 minutes
Director: Jhon Jota
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Countries/Territories: Colombia
Community/Nation: Nasa
Synopsis: The song "2050" is the story of a young Indigenous man who, in the midst of a daydream, sees the future and tells of the devastation of the environment generated by the consumerist and exploitative lifestyle of the current economic system. "2050" is an apocalyptic story told from the Indigenous worldview in Colombia, where there is concern about the loss of what is essential for the survival of communities. It is also a call for raising awareness about natural resources. The song proposes the return to a spiritual life that allows for respecting the spirits of nature and defending mother earth as an alternative solution.
Director Bio: Jhon Jota, also known as "El indio del Rap," belongs to the Nasa Indigenous community and, at 23 years of age, is one of the greatest proponents of Colombian Indigenous Rap. Jhon Jota is from the Toribio Cauca reservation, where he has been making music since 2014 using lyrics of resistance and dignity, in order to strengthen and protect Mother Earth and the Indigenous worldview, without forgetting love and heartbreak as transversal elements in all of humanity. This transgressive exploration of his own context and culture has allowed him to transcend the borders of his reservation and expose the problems of his community in different national and international festivals.

Seed Mother: Coming Home

Title: Seed Mother: Coming Home
Release Date: 2021
Runtime: 7:25 minutes
Director: Mateo Hinojosa and Rowen White
Language: English
Countries/Territories: US
Community/Nation: Quechua, Mohawk
Synopsis: In this poetic embodiment of the Indigenous Seed Rematriation movement, seeds show their full beauty for us to fall in love—and so protect them. We witness animated visions of the Mohawk cosmogenealogy and are all called to return to relationship with our seeds, to join this Indigenous women-led movement.
Director Bio:

Mateo Hinojosa is a mestizo Quechua Bolivian-American storyteller based in California. Specializing in channeling collective voices and visions into creative expression, he has facilitated collaborative audiovisual productions and cross-cultural storytelling workshops with Native American youth, Argentine transgender prisoners, and climate justice activists. His feature documentary, Spectacular Movements, was co-created with young Aymara actors reviving the spirits of the recent Bolivian revolution with theater and street interventions. As Media Director at The Cultural Conservancy since 2013, he has produced numerous documentaries, community education experiences, and the Native Seed Pod podcast. He is also director of the Woven Path production company.

Rowen White is a Seed Keeper and farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for Indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the director and founder of Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seeds and education based in Nevada City, CA. White is the National Project Coordinator and advisor for the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, which is an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. White's passion is in teaching and mentoring. She has developed many curricula which focus on a holistic, Indigenous permaculture-based approach to seed stewardship, which honors the many layers of seed culture—from practical hands-on skills, cultural context, and memory—with guiding principles that are rooted in an Indigenous ecology of relations. She teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture, and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs.

“ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ" (Long Man)

Title: “ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ" (Long Man)
Release Date: 2021
Runtime: 14:26 minutes
Director: Joseph Erb
Language: Cherokee
Countries/Territories: US
Community/Nation: Cherokee
Synopsis: This animation is a cultural look at the importance of water to the Cherokee people and people in northeastern Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. It deals with the Cherokee word for river being ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ (longman). Rivers are spirits and living beings that are respected by cultural Cherokee people. These waters are now being polluted at a high rate.
Director Bio:

Joseph Lewis Erb (Producer/Director, Cherokee Nation Citizen) is a computer animator, film producer, educator, language technologist, and artist. He earned his MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Erb created The Beginning They Told, the first Cherokee animation in the Cherokee language. He used his artistic skills to teach Muscogee Creek and Cherokee students how to animate traditional stories. Most of this work is created in the Cherokee language. He has spent many years working on projects that will expand the use of Cherokee language in technology and the arts.

David Crawler (Narrator/Cultural Expert, Cherokee Nation Citizen) works in the preservation and teaching of the Cherokee language. As a first-language Cherokee speaker, Crawler has served the Cherokee Nation (CN) for more than a decade in the tribe's language department working on a number of language projects. He was instrumental in translating the CN Constitution into the Cherokee language, and is the primary translator and storyteller for Cherokee First Children's Activity Books. He has assisted in animated films with the Cherokee language, and has worked on notable translation projects for Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Crawler is also a part of the Cherokee Language Consortium, helping to translate modern words into Cherokee syllabary.

Shash Jaa' (Bears Ears)

Title: Shash Jaa' (Bears Ears)
Release Date: 2016
Runtime: 26 minutes
Director: Angelo Baca
Language: English/Diné (Navajo)
Countries/Territories: Dinetah (Navajo Territory, US)
Community/Nation: Diné/Hopi
Synopsis: Shásh Jaa’ (Bears Ears) encompasses more than 1.9 million acres of southeastern Utah wilderness and is sacred land to local Native American tribes. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is an effort of 5 different tribal nations (Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Hopi, Zuni) coming together to protect this pristine ecological area from natural resource extraction development and environmental destruction. This documentary short follows director Angelo Baca (Diné/Hopi) and his grandmother, Helen Yellowman (Diné), and the developing coalition’s efforts to convince the Obama administration to make this area a designated National Monument with a co-management plan working in partnership with these tribes.
Director Bio: Angelo Baca is a cultural activist, scholar, filmmaker, and recent PhD graduate in the Department of Anthropology at New York University, where he focused his research on Bears Ears National Monument. He is also the cultural resources coordinator at Utah Diné Bikéyah, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense and protection of culturally significant ancestral lands. Shash Jaa’: Bears Ears is Baca’s latest award-winning film. He has worked with Patagonia on the public lands film Public Trust about the current administration’s assault on Indigenous and public lands. Baca’s work reflects his commitment to collaborative research with Indigenous communities on equal and respectful terms and a long-standing dedication to both Western and Indigenous knowledge. He continues to focus on the protection of Indigenous communities by empowering local and traditional knowledge-keepers in the stewardship of their own cultural practices and landscapes.

The Hemispheric Institute and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage of the Smithsonian Institution present Indigenous Cinema 2022.

Curated by Amalia Córdova

Following Ailton Krenak’s invitation to consider the interdependence between all living beings, we look at what nourishes and sustains us: from the primary bond to land and water, to acts of healing and ceremony. Beyond denunciation, these films delve into Indigenous conceptions of territoriality and spirituality, with images and sounds that channel vitality, connection and relationality in the face of the multiple threats to our collective wellbeing. Can we retrace the pathways, listen to the seeds, to the rivers, and the poets? Can we petition the spirits and sing in our own languages?


About HemiTV

HemiTV is the Hemispheric Institute’s portal for live streaming and virtual programming, developed for the Zoom era and beyond.