Equally historic and nostalgic, this just-released, locally produced film focuses on acclaimed folklorist Nasario Garcia as he wanders through “landscape and memory” amid the ghost towns of New Mexico’s Rio Puerco Valley. Recalling tales of his youth, Garcia brings these lost places to life again. John Nichols, author of The Milage Beanfield War called the film “exquisite and very powerful.” First broadcast on PBS, this hour-long collection of oral histories, archival photos and contemporary footage of the landscape has just been released on DVD.
All the way back in 2009, filmmaker Syndey Freeland won a New Visions/New Mexico Contract Award from the New Mexico Film Office. He used the cash award to start writing and directing his hard-hitting film debut, Drunktown’s Finest. In the years since its completion, the film has toured film festivals around the globe, premiered on the Sundance Channel and had numerous screenings throughout the Southwest. Based loosely on Freeland’s growing up in Gallup, N.M., the film charts the lives of three young Native Americans—an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be and a promiscuous transsexual—as they strive to escape the hardships of life on and off a New Mexico Indian reservation.
Santa Fe’s not-for-profit education film company Silver Bullet Productions releases another one of its New Mexico-made documentaries centering on Native culture. This one, narrated by actor Wes Studi, relates the true story of Native American Warriors from first contact to today. Often portrayed as rebels or violent aggressors, Native people have long fought to protect their people, lands, environment and culture—despite poor treatment from the United States government. Here, advisors, artists, musicians and others use their voices to tell the story of the Warrior, past and present.