Mixed Media Film Roundup

Trudell (Appaloosa Pictures)

Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action
(Katahdin Productions)

He’s one of the icons of the civil rights movement. So where’s
the love? No one has named a building after John Trudell or even
written a proper biography of him (unless you count the FBI’s
17,000-page dossier). But better late than never, Trudell receives
proper tribute with Heather Rae’s admiring Trudell. More
than a dozen years in the making, this documentary features rare
clips (Trudell, a Vietnam vet, was a fiery spokesman of the
American Indian Movement), performances (now a spoken-word artist,
Trudell is one of Bob Dylan’s favorite musicians), and interviews.
Cayuga actor Gary Farmer calls Trudell ‘our Socrates’ — the
truth-teller not everyone is ready to hear.

A new generation of Native activists have followed Trudell’s
path, and Roberta Grossman profiles five of them in her
award-winning Homeland. Gail Small (Northern Cheyenne),
Evon Peter (Gwich’in), Barry Dana (Penobscot), and Rita and
Mitchell Capitan (Navajo) all struggle to fend off the toxic-waste
dumping, strip mining, and drilling that have contaminated their
reservations. Homeland is the story of a U.S. tragedy —
multinational companies doing their deadly work in Native peoples’
backyards — and of the brave few who stand up to combat it. —
Jason Silverman

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

A clever and wildly funny take on the ‘behind the scenes’ genre,
Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull
is the latest film from one of the most versatile
directors working today. Rather than a straight adaptation of
Laurence Sterne’s novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram
Shandy, Gentleman
, Winterbottom, screenwriter Martin Hardy,
and the brilliant cast have made a film about the making of a film
of the novel. Not your typical inside joke-laden, onanistic
self-referential exercise, Tristram Shandy is a sharp
send-up of moviemaking and features a comedic performance for the
ages by leads Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. — Mark

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