The Out of the Vault series returns with three programs featuring diverse films by and about Native Americans drawn from the BAMPFA collection, ranging from silent, narrative, and experimental cinema to investigative journalism, documentary, and educational films. Each screening centers around a feature—The Silent Enemy (1930), The Exiles (1961), As Long as the Rivers Run (1971)—paired with a selection of rarely seen short works. The thematic programs explore issues of geographical belonging and dislocation, arenas of political and social action, and questions of representation. These heterogeneous groupings offer potent instances of reclamation of space as well as voice, with testimonies to the presence, work, art, and activism of Native Americans, including in the local area, with the occupation of Alcatraz Island and more recent protests around the destruction of an Ohlone burial site. The screenings shed light on the ongoing relevance of historical episodes such as the massacre at Wounded Knee, Ishi’s negotiation of life at a UC anthropology museum, and government urban relocation programs. But they also evoke the sacredness of the earth as the provider for basic human needs, whether by urging the protection of the land’s resources or by advocating for innovative urban land trusts.
— Margherita Ghetti
Series cocurators Margherita Ghetti, Sarah Whitt, and Hertha D. Sweet Wong, as well as special guests Ohlone activist Corrina Gould and Michelle Raheja, author of Reservation Reelism (which inspired our series title), will be in attendance to introduce and discuss the films. Of related interest, Sky Hopinka, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, presents a program of his poetic films as part of Alternative Visions.