Document Preview
  • Full Text
  • Scholarly Journal


Marubbio, M Elise.  ; Commerce Vol. 29, Iss. 3,  (Summer 2010): 3-0_3.

Full text preview

I watched academics, some of them Indians, contort their psyches in ways that would make an acrobat wince, racing to establish a Native aesthetic, often to the exclusion of what they saw with their own eyes....Only by looking at a large body of work and with the benefit of hindsight can you begin to untangle the myriad themes, patterns, politics, subtext, metaphors and informal elements that run through the films of even a single filmmaker, much less a globe full of them. And even then, half the time the maker will be surprised by your conclusions....Why jump to conclusions? Let Native Cinema come to term. Why give it a c-section?-Randy Redroad (Cherokee) 20091

A native filmmaker has...the accountability built into him. The white man doesn't have that. That's the single big distinction. Accountability as an individual, as a clan, as a tribal, as a family member. That's where we're at as Indian filmmakers. We want to start participating [in] and developing an Indian aesthetic. And there is such a thing as an Indian aesthetic, and it begins in the sacred.-Victor Masayesva, Jr. (Hopi) 19912

What is Native American or Indigenous cinema? Such a seemingly simple question opens a myriad of answers and possibilities. Embedded into its naming are the politics of Indigeneity; the global scope of Indigenous film; the continuum of reference for what constitutes Indigenous film and Indigenous/Native filmmakers; and the complications of performing the "c-section," as Randy Redroad describes the process of those writing about it (Marubbio). Native American/Indigenous film does not simply fit into or reject First Cinema (North American or Hollywood), Second Cinema (Independent or Art House cinema), Third Cinema (the cinema of the Third World),3 or Fourth Cinema (cinema of Indigenous peoples); rather it is the referencing, morphing, and reaching across all or focusing on just...