Indigenous Cinema in North America (with Karrmen Crey)

In this week’s episode, guest Karrmen Crey discusses her article “Screen Text and Institutional Context: Indigenous Film Production and Academic Research Institutions” which analyzes post-secondary institutions and the intellectual traditions that shape how Indigenous filmmakers engage the politics and ethics of representation. By comparing two documentaries by Indigenous women, Navajo Talking Picture (Arlene Bowman 1986) and Cry Rock (Banchi Hanuse 2010), Crey argues that we must consider how Indigenous artists contend with sources of funding and formal tropes enmeshed in Western traditions when attempting to tell Indigenous stories in visual media.

“…chances are you might dismiss it for being what seems like uncomfortable, and that to me was the point. Because this is a very complicated text, if we look at the institutional context as a part of the production, we can see exactly what the filmmaker is trying to intervene in and transform.”

Episode Transcript (opens as PDF)

Show Notes

01:20 Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance by Alanis Obomsawin

07:30 Navajo Talking Picture by Arlene Bowman

09:00 Cry Rock by Banchi Hanuse

18:20 the First Nations program at the University of British Columbia

19:40 NFB profile on Cree/Métis filmmaker Loretta Todd

23:00 oral traditions as a particular mode of learning and understanding

37:00 Michelle Stewart explains “native nationalism” in her dissertation

40:30 News report about 72% of films at the 2017 imagineNATIVE festival made by Indigenous female directors

About the Guest

Karrmen Crey (Stó:lō) is a member of Cheam First Nation, and is Assistant Professor of Aboriginal Communication and Media Studies in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Her research examines the rise of Indigenous media in Canada since the early 1990s, and the institutions of media culture undergirding this phenomenon.