Huh. Interesting one, Phyllis. Might have to check that out.
I just went to our annual Sapatq'ayn Cinema and saw a couple of movies on Indian women. The first was called Singing Our Stories and was about women from different tribal lineages and their songs--how they learn, how the acquire, and how they perform their spiritual songs. Quite amazing and empowering.
The second film was Song Journey and dealt with one Dineh woman living in LA who went on a road trip through America and Canada to explore women's perceived roles in drumming and singing groups. It was an older film, from 1993. There were many deeply entrenched gender prejudices among the people--not just men, but women too--about the "traditional place" of a woman in drumming and dancing. The majority of people (these were all Plains Indians tribes) believe that women should not drum, that drumming should be reserved exclusively for the men. This was odd especially juxtaposed with the first film, which showed many powerful and empowered women drumming and being key drummers and singers in their tribes. Also in this second film, clear gender lines were drawn among the dances--for example, it was taboo or at least very unusual for women to participate in the Grass Dance. The sexism was quite striking, although the film did feature several women who were advancing into the drum circle and claiming some of their own rights. The film ends with the narrator back to her roots, learning the language of her Navajo ancestors and standing with her own hand drum.
Anyhow, those were good. I also watched a great documentary film about high school kids in south central LA discovering themselves and coming to terms with personal, societal, and racial conflicts through theater and dance. Called Colors Straight Up and highly recommended.