Runtime: 84 minutes (CC)
Words from a BearÂ examines the enigmatic life and mind of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Navarro Scott Momaday, one of Native Americaâ€™s most celebrated authors of poetry and prose. The film visually captures the essence of Momadayâ€™s writings, relating each written line to his unique American experience representing ancestry, place, and oral history. Cinematically this story takes audiences on a spiritual journey through the expansive landscapes of the West, when Momadayâ€™s Kiowa ancestors roamed the Great Plains with herds of buffalo, to the sand-painted valleys of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, where his imagination ripened and he showed superior writing skills as a young mission student.
The film gives a thorough survey of Momadayâ€™s most prolific years as a doctorate fellow at Stanford University, his achievement of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1969, and his later works that solidified his place as the founding member of the â€śNative American Renaissanceâ€ť in art and literature, influencing a generation of Native American artists, scholars, and political activists. Although his unique heritage is a central theme, Momadayâ€™s work asks the questions every audience can relate to: what are our origins and how do we connect to them through our collective memories? Through his literature and the cinematic visuals, Words from a Bear illuminates how Momaday has grappled with these basic questions of human existence and his own identity. The film reveals intimate details of the writerâ€™s personal life through his literary texts, along with the trials and tribulations he faced as a Native American artist in the 20th and 21st century.
Wednesday, January 15
1:00 pm â€“ 2:30 pm