Even though Indigenous voices are regularly marginalized and twisted around by governments, corporations, think tanks and various others, it's not something we take lying down.
We may not always have the resources to ensure that people can hear us and understand what we're saying; but we more than make up for it with an abundance of will, determination, creativity, patience, and the occasional video camera.
In fact, ever since the advent of online media, Indigenous Peoples have been increasingly using film to approach the international community; be it with testimony, calls for solidarity, evidence of abuse, explorations of culture, reality checks and poems that move us all--not to mention satires, parodies and other comedy sketches to lighten us up in these heavy times.
Of course, there are lots of great non-indigenous filmmakers out there too, who are working just as hard to get the message out, challenging misconceptions, creating new spaces for dialogue, giving people something meaningful to do.
Given how many challenges we face, this growing flood of online media by and for Indigenous Peoples comes none too soon.
Here's to that flood becoming a tsunami in 2012!
Recommended films from 2011
1. The Dark Side of Green
The Dark Side of Green examines the ongoing struggle of the Guarani Kaiowá People, the most populous indigenous nation of Brazil. Expelled from their lands because of the continuous process of colonization, the Guarani Kaiowá now live in less than 1% of their original territory. Over their lands there are now thousands of hectares of sugarcane planted by multinational companies in agreement with the government, who show ethanol to the world as an environment friendly and 'clean' fuel.
2. Our Generation
Our Generation is a ground breaking new documentary on Aboriginal rights, which has ignited a people-power movement across Australia. 3 years in the making, it was made in collaboration with the Yolngu people of Northeast Arnhem Land in Australia's remote Northern Territory.
3. Paraiso for sale
Paraiso for Sale takes a look at the fast-growing migration of American retirees and developers to Bocas del Toro, Panama; and the effect it is having on a local Ngobe community.
4. Songs of the Colorado
5. The Young Ancestors
The Young Ancestors follows a group of Native American teens, who under the guidance of a mentor, are learning their native language. In a broader context this is a story of the burgeoning movement led by Indigenous Peoples to revitalize their language and culture.
6. Umoja: No Men Allowed
Umoja: No Men Allowed tells the life-changing story of a group of Indigenous Samburu women in Northern Kenya who reclaimed their lives after speaking out against an epidemic of rape at the hands of British soldiers.
7. We Women Warriors
We Women Warriors (Nosotras Mujeres Guerreras) offers stories of hope, unshakable courage and faith in the survival of indigenous culture.
8. Conservation Refugees – Expelled from Paradise
Since the "discovery" of the Yosemite National Park on March 21, 1851, as many as 20 million people have been turned into Conservation refugees. This film by Marketfilm and Friends of People Close to Nature, introduces us to some of these refugees and the struggles they now face as displaced peoples.
9. Written Out of History
Written Out of History blends historical facts with accounts of the forgotten legacy of Native American slavery as told by indigenous scholars and anthropologists.
10. Blood in the Mobile
Blood in the Mobile exposes the connection between mobile phones and Democratic Republic of Congo's bloody civil war.
More Recommended films!
- Eagle Rock
- A Changing World
- Algonquins of Barriere Lake vs Section 74 of the Indian Act
- Fever: A Video Guide About Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change
- Doo’ko’oosliid: What the San Francisco Peaks Means to the Dine’
- Manoomin: The Sacred Food
- A Voice in the Desert
- Unrecognized: A Chronicle of Bedouin life in the Naqab
- Niyamgiri You Are Still Alive
- Land Has Breath: Respecting Nature in Altai
- When The Water Ends: Africa’s Climate Conflicts
- Village in Chiapas Starved of Medical Services for REDD
- The Chaco Forest and Its People
- Emergency in Bosawas
- When Two Worlds Collide
- Apples and Indians
- Voices in the Clouds
- Reviving Our Culture, Mapping Our Future
- Blue Gold: The Tsilhqot’in Fight for Teztan Biny
- Echoes of the Future
- Reel Injun
- Nowhere here in the Middle
- Duta Palma's Filthy Palm Oil
- Life in Porgera Valley, Papua New Guinea
- Tar Sands Documentary: Downstream
- A Thousand Suns
- Mining Re-Sisters from Guatemala
- Last Stand for the Alangans
- Losing Sacred Ground
- Voices of the Caribou People
- Forest Mountain Voices
- Running For Their Lives
- Listen and Accept Our Voice
- All That Glitters Isn't Gold
- Milking the Rhino: Conservation in Post-Colonial Africa
- The First People of Suriname
- Justicia Now!
- Poison Wind