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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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17. “I don’t know”: Linking past and present, the personal and the nation, and movement in Sterlin Harjo’s This May be the Last Time (Chris LaLonde)

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Chris LaLonde

SUNY Oswego

17. “I don’t know”: Linking past and present, the personal and the nation, and movement in Sterlin Harjo’s This May be the Last Time

Abstract: A critical conflict for the Native Americans and First Nations people of North America, perhaps the critical conflict, has to do with past wrongs suffered that remain unaddressed. What is more, the trauma born of removal, of the boarding school/residential school era, of the relocation program and Termination Policy in the United States, of nothing less than attempted genocide on both sides of the border between the United States and Canada is exacerbated by the majority societies of the United States and Canada either remaining blind to these inconvenient truths or holding that past events are just that, past, and that natives need to get over what has happened. Native literary, visual, and performing artists counter this way of thinking with words, objects, and images that bring to light stories of loss, of resistance, and of recovery.

For the International Conference in Small Cinemas, I propose to discuss how in the documentary This May be the Last Time (2014) Muscogee Creek-Seminole filmmaker Sterlin Harjo brings together personal history, local history, the history of Removal, World War II, the Vietnam War, and congregational line singing in order to articulate connections between past and present and between song and loss in the name of what Gerald Vizenor terms survivance. Vizenor argues...

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