SMITHSONIAN VOICES  NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

Films for Fans of All Kinds from the Museum’s Native Cinema Showcase 2020, This Year Screening Online

Rebecca Hill-Genia in the award-winning documentary
Rebecca Hill-Genia in the award-winning documentary “Conscience Point,” by filmmaker Treva Wurmfeld. (Courtesy of Women Make Movies)

Native Cinema Showcase celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Since its launching in 2000 at SWAIA’s Santa Fe Indian Market, the festival has featured an array of films from Indigenous communities across the Western Hemisphere. Much has changed during these 20 years in cinema, but one thing remains steadfast in Indian Country: Native filmmakers are using the medium as a catalyst to create change by telling their own stories in their own voices.

From November 18 through 27, the National Museum of the American Indian brings the showcase to an online audience. For the first five days of the festival—through November 22—a new set of films will go live each day. After each film debuts, most will be available on demand for five days, and many will be available to view anywhere in the world. Here are just a few of the films to watch at Native Cinema Showcase this year.

If you’re an environmentalist or want to know more about land rights

Conscience Point, the festival’s opening night feature, looks at the history of the Shinnecock Nation and its relationship with the Hamptons communities on Long Island. The film reveals the economic disparity of the area and injustices experienced by the original inhabitants of that land. The Shinnecock people’s continued fight to protect their land and protagonist Becky Hill-Genia will have you riveted from start to finish

Angry Inuk is one of our favorite picks from years past. Inuk director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril narrates the film with passion and humor as she exposes the truth of anti-hunting campaigns. Her film provides a platform for people the animal activists rarely meet: The hunters, craftspeople, and families for whom the seal hunt is a critical part of their livelihood and survival. Get angry and get educated.

READ MORE