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Making The Film

Navajo Talking Picture

Film by Arlene Bowman
Produced by Arlene Bowman
Cinematographer: Arlene Bowman, James Mulryan
Sound: Jeanine Moret, Bethlehem Tsehayu, Hiroko Yamazki, Laura Elijaek
Editing: Arlene Bowman, James Mulryan
Copyright: 1986, Arlene Bowman
40 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1986
Distributor: Women Make Movies
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Arlene Bowman or to the distributor, Women Make Movies.



Film student Arlene Bowman (Navajo) travels to the Reservation to document the traditional ways of her grandmother. The filmmaking persists in spite of her grandmother's forceful objections to this invasion of her privacy. Ultimately, what emerges is a work which abruptly calls into question issues of "insider/outsider" status in a portrait of an assimilated Navajo struggling to use a "white man's" medium to capture the remnants of her cultural past.

Bowman herself emerges as a sympathetic character from an absurdist comedy as both her ancestry and film goals elude her.
--- Steven Mikulan, Los Angeles Weekly

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