The programme of 24 short and feature-length fictional and documentary films includes groundbreaking Indigenous cinema from the past five decades. The special series will open with the award-winning film Atanarjuat The Fast Runner by Inuit director Zacharias Kunuk on February 8, at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele.
The project was developed with the support of an international team of Indigenous advisors who also co-curated the film programme. They will all attend the Festival.
With this special series, the Berlinale aims to draw attention to both the film culture and complexity of the history of Indigenous peoples. At the same time, the project will call attention to current events, such as the Canadian grassroots movement “Idle No More” and the hunger strike of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.
“Conceptualising such a programme is an extraordinary adventure, especially here in Germany, the homeland of Karl May, where Native Americans are more often than not known as ‘Indians’, people who still live in teepees and smoke peace pipes,” comments NATIVe’s curator Maryanne Redpath.
Atanarjuat The Fast Runner by Zacharias Kunuk – Canada 2001
The legend of how Atanarjuat wins the hand of the beautiful Atuat. Escaping his rival’s ambush, he sprints naked across the ever-frozen ice, thereby lifting an old Shaman’s curse.
Beneath Clouds by Ivan Sen - Australia 2002
A road movie across the Australian outback. Two misfits, each with a different axe to grind: Vaughn despises all white people, while Lena tries to conceal her mother’s Aboriginal roots. Forced to band together, they have more in common than they think.
Boy by Taika Waititi - New Zealand 2010
A big Michael Jackson fan, Boy idolises his father who is serving a prison sentence. After his dad is released, Boy hopes they will now live together and goes to great lengths to impress his dubious hero.
The Exiles by Kent Mackenzie – USA 1961
A group of young Native Americans flirt, fight and party during one long night in Los Angeles. Shot in atmospheric black-and-white, this documentary portrays a rootless generation, capturing an intense snapshot of urban life.
Ngati by Barry Barclay – New Zealand 1987
In 1940s New Zealand, a young doctor arrives at a village thinking he can educate its Maori inhabitants but realises he is the one who can learn from the community’s traditions and social cohesion. A story about finding identity in a post-colonial society.
O Le Tulafale (The Orator) by Tusi Tamasese - Samoa/New Zealand 2011
A family feud is destroying the peace in humble Saili’s village. In order to restore harmony he must first master his Samoan ancestors’ tradition of oratory.
On the Ice by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean - USA 2011
They spend the bright Polar nights at hip-hop parties and their days out hunting for seals. After a fatal accident, Qalli and Aivaaq begin to weave a web of lies, and end up treading on very thin ice indeed.
Samson & Delilah by Warwick Thornton - Australia 2009
Two rebellious teenagers leave their home in the Australian outback and head off for the city where they become all the more aware of their marginality. They develop their own strategies for survival, while a tender love begins to grow between them.
Saving Grace, Te Whakarauora Tangata by Merata Mita - New Zealand 2011 (Documentary)
Maori men front up before the camera and take responsibility for their violence. Unsparing in their self-assessment, they also talk about their hopes for a future without abuse and oppression.
Skins by Chris Eyre - USA 2002
Alcoholism, violence and unemployment dictate the daily routine on the reservation. Rudy, a tribal cop, wants to do more than just fight the symptoms, and embarks on an unusual campaign of vengeance in the name of Native American justice.
Ten Canoes by Rolf de Heer – Australia 2006
A story about love, betrayal and tribal conflict involving ten hunters, two narrators and three time periods. A journey into a mythical Australia, long before the white man set foot on the continent.
Trudell by Heather Rae - USA 2005 (Documentary)
American Indian Movement activist John Trudell exudes dignity, pride and charisma. This documentary follows his life – from his childhood beginnings in Nebraska to his political struggles and their continuation in his work as a poet and musician.
The Ballad of Crowfoot by Willie Dunn – Canada 1968
Set against archival images, this moving ballad tells the story of the life of legendary Chief Crowfoot and the fate of Canada’s First Peoples.
Bastion Point Day 507 by Merata Mita, Leon Narbey, Gerd Pohlmann – New Zealand 1980 (Documentary)
A record of the Maori protest movement during the explosive land dispute of 1978, which sought to prevent a Government takeover of the coastal region of Bastion Point.
Circle of the Sun by Colin Low – Canada 1960 (Documentary)
With stunning colour photography, this documentary marks the first record of the Kainai tribe’s sun dance ceremony.
Ebony Society by Tammy Davis – New Zealand 2011
Two young men go on a Christmas burglary spree, but what they find makes them leave their loot behind – tender handling is required.
Green Bush by Warwick Thornton – Australia 2005
DJ Kenny is in the midst of presenting his nightly radio show in the Australian outback when an old man knocks at the door asking for a cup of tea. A turbulent night begins.
Nana by Warwick Thornton - Australia 2007
She is adored by her granddaughter. Nana can cook, paint, hunt – and has her own particular brand of justice.
Ngangkari by Erica Glynn - Australia 2001 (Documentary)
This documentary follows traditional healers as they go about their impressive work in Aboriginal communities, and shows how they are passing on their knowledge.
Payback by Warwick Thornton – Australia 1996
On the day of his release following twenty years in prison, Paddy must face ‘payback’ in accordance with the traditional laws of his people.
Le rêve d’une mère (A Mother’s Dream) by Cherilyn Papatie – Canada 2007 (Documentary)
A mother’s dream and nightmare. The state does not allow her children to live at home. She is only occasionally allowed to spend a few precious hours with them.
Richard Cardinal – Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child by Alanis Obomsawin – Canada 1986 (Documentary)
After experiencing abuse and neglect in 28 foster families and homes, Richard’s will to live is finally broken. Made in 1986, this film chronicles a suicide which drew attention to Canada’s ‘stolen generations’.
Turangawaewae – A Place to Stand by Peter Burger – New Zealand 2003
A man haunted by memories of war and lost in the present finds his way back to his roots.
Two Cars, One Night by Taika Waititi – New Zealand 2004
Polly and Romeo meet while waiting for their parents outside a rural bar. What begins as an argument ends in the initial sparks of first love.
January 17, 2013