EVENT: Premiere of “Return of the River” on the Elwha Dam Removal

My friend and fellow filmmaker John Gussman has completed his epic film on the removal of the Elwha dam. Come see his film in Port Townsend

Friday, 6:30 p.m., Rose Theatre
Saturday, 12:15 p.m., Peter Simpson Free Cinema

“Return of the River” is a feature documentary that tells the story of the largest dam removal and river restoration project in history, currently unfolding on the Elwha River in Washington State. The film explores an extraordinary community effort to set the river free, and shows an unlikely victory for environmental justice. Told by an ensemble cast of characters, “Return of the River” offers hope amid grim environmental news.

Find us on facebook at facebook.com/ReturnOfTheRiver

In the Land of The War Canoes – Restored Edward Curtis Film

I stumbled on this update to Edward Curtis’ 1914 film this morning, searching for something else. This is the entire film, available to view online. (update- no longer true, see below). While the film is dramatic in nature, and not truly a documentary, the use of an all native cast, and shot entirely on location in Southern Alaska makes it a documentary by it’s very nature. Film of actual tribal use of canoes, traditional dances, clothing, dip nets, and much more, make this an amazing piece of film history of our part of the world. There are a lot of shots of a traditional village, dancing, use of canoes etc, as the story gets quite active, around the 22:00 minute mark. Might be a great film to show to members of the Canoe Journey as part of their training leading up to the Journey.

The use of skulls in this film may be just a dramatic touch for the audiences of that day, but, I’m not sure whether this particular tribe had a history of being that agressive and war like. I know that I’ve read that some tribes in the interior of the Canadian Coastal range, were documented to have been cannibals (can we actually trust that documentation?), but that was considered very unusual by my source material (which I no longer can remember the book it came out of), and seemed by those researchers to be only indicated for tribes in the most isolated interior mountain areas. Perhaps someone with a deeper understanding of Coastal Tribes could shed some light on this?

Here’s the overview from the web site:

In 1914, Edward Sheriff Curtis produced a 47 minute silent movie entitled, “In the Land of the Head Hunters”. This was the first feature in history to use an all-indigenous North American cast. The Kwakwaka’wakw culture is shared in this story of love, deception and honor. In 1973, Bill Holm and George Quimby produced an entirely new soundtrack using Kwakwaka’wakw consultants and cast and released their sound version entitled, “In the Land of the War Canoes.”

The link I had here before to the film appears to be dead. Sorry about this. It appears that Milestone Films has purchased the rights to the film and will be re-releasing it in 2014, the 100th annivesary of the film’s production. http://www.milestonefilms.com 

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