Bradby Brown column: Reframing Native American life and experience through film

By November 16, 2018 No Comments

Virginia is home to 11 indigenous tribes that strive to maintain and share their cultures. Representation for Virginia Indian tribes matters because it impacts our understanding of history and how we educate our children, and it shapes our path forward as a democracy.

American storytelling and filmmaking have suffered from a dearth of representation of important groups that influenced American democracy, notably Native Americans. Native culture is rich, steeped in history and multifaceted, yet mainstream films seldom capture this nuance. This week, the second annual Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival in Richmond will honor the contributions of Native Americans and reinvigorate conversations about telling stories of indigenous life.

The Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival aims to foster a greater awareness of, and exposure to, indigenous languages, cultures, and societies, through films that share Native American perspectives. This unique festival connects artists associated with each film with festival attendees, in order to share, teach, and explain their creativity and history. It shares previously untold Native American narratives and insights and directly counters mainstream filmmakers’ use of demeaning stereotypes — which lack nuance, accuracy, and complexity — when incorporating Native characters or storylines.