IN SEARCH OF THE CANARY TREE: THE STORY OF A SCIENTIST, A CYPRESS, AND A CHANGING WORLD, published by Basic Books, chronicles the six years Lauren E. Oakes, PhD, spent beginning in 2010, as a young Stanford University scientist, doing doctoral research in South East Alaska, studying the mysterious die-back of ancient yellow cedar trees. Hers was a multi-disciplinary approach. In addition to the grueling field work studying thousand of trees, and countless other plants in the changing forests, she also interviewed local folks, including native Tlingit weavers, timber operators, other scientists, and just regular folks who enjoy the forests for recreation. There were many surprises along the way, which she shares with us in this interview.
In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, Mark Gordon discusses how he came to make this biographical documentary of Mabel Dodge Luhan. It will be screening at the BZN International Film Festival on June 9 at the Ellen Theater at 6:15 p.m. He will be attending.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Mabel Dodge Luhan was a woman unique to her time. Her influence extended into the world of art, music, literature and activism for social change. In her late 30’s she traveled to Taos and was embraced the Taos Pueblo Indians in a way that seized the attention of the artistic and literary world.
It also the story of a great love between Mabel and Tony Luhan, with whom she organized to protect the ancestral lands and sacred sites of his people, the Tewa Indians of Taos Pueblo.
She lured progressive thinkers and artists, including D.H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Willa Cather, Dorothy Brett, Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe and others to the remote town to attend her salons. Many of these visitors stayed for periods of time and several remained their entire lives. Mabel’s home and salons made an extraordinary contribution to the culture of Taos County and the State of New Mexico. She helped put Taos on the world map as a destination of distinctive beauty, a Mecca for artists.
In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, we speak with Bozeman resident, Christi Cooper, about her years of work documenting the increasingly powerful movement of young people, who are challenging the U.S. Government and the fossil fuel industry for violation of their Constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment to Life, Liberty and Property.
Her film, a work in progress, YOUTH V. GOV, screens at the BZN International Film Festival on June 9 at the Willson Auditorium at 7:45 p.m. Victoria Barrett, a 19-year-old college student from White Plains, NY, who is one of 21 youth plaintiffs suing the U.S. government in the landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit, will also be attending for a discussion afterwards.
In this groundbreaking civil rights lawsuit, guided by Julia Olson, their lead attorney, 21 American youth take the US government and the fossil fuel industry to court for creating a climate emergency that threatens the future of the youngest generations.
This is not the typical climate change film. YOUTH V GOV brings a new perspective not yet explored. And in the end, YOUTH V GOV will activate youth, millennials, and adults to engage as citizens and to lean heavily on the pillars of democracy that we rely on for the future of our country and the world.
In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, Gale Anne Hurd tells us about her feature length film, MANKILLER, which recounts the life of Wilma Mankiller, who overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief in 1985.
It is the story of an American hero. One who stands tall amongst the likes of Robert Kennedy, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King, Jr. Someone who humbly defied the odds and overcame insurmountable obstacles to fight injustice and gave a voice to the voiceless. And yet few people know her name.
Although beset with numerous health problems over many years, Wilma Mankiller persevered in breaking the cycle of poverty among her people and forged a new economic model to bring health and prosperity to the Cherokee Nation.
She was the embodiment of the Cherokee principle of Gadugi– in a positive manner that benefits the entire community.
MANKILLER Centerpiece Screening at the Bozeman International Film Festival
WHEN: Saturday June 9th, 8:15pm
WHERE: The Crawford Theater at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture; 111 South Grand Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715
A Q&A with Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and Director/Producer Valerie Red-Horse Mohl to follow.
In this edition of Radio Goes to the Movies, we speak with Jill Momaday about her documentary short film, RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN.
Based on the life of her father, Pulitzer Prize winning author, N. Scott Momaday, they retrace the route of his bestselling book, The Way to Rainy Mountain, visiting sacred Kiowa ancestral sites that inform the ancient myths, legends and oral traditions of their people.
It will be screening Friday morning, June 8 at 10:00 in the Hager Auditorium in the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT, as part of the BZN International Film Festival.
Quinn Costello, editor & co-producer of the documentary, RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE, share his thoughts & experiences in creating this joyful exploration of the “Giant Swamp Rats Are Literally Eating Louisiana”.
Hard headed Louisiana fisherman Thomas Gonzales doesn’t know what will hit him next. After decades of hurricanes and oil spills he faces a new threat – hordes of monstrous 20 pound swamp rats. Known as “nutria”, these invasive South American rodents breed faster than the roving squads of hunters can control them. And with their orange teeth and voracious appetite they are eating up the coastal wetlands that protects Thomas and his town of Delacroix Island from hurricanes. But the people who have lived here for generations are not the type of folks who will give up without a fight. Thomas and a pack of lively bounty hunters are hellbent on saving Louisiana before it dissolves beneath their feet. It is man vs. rodent. May the best mammal win.
Award winning non-fiction filmmakers Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer have traveled to many corners of the world in search of unique stories highlighting the important environmental, scientific and cultural issues of contemporary society. With the success of documentary projects as varied as PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA, THE NEW ENVIRONMENTALISTS and EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: THE STORY OF FISHBONE they have gone on to screen their work at SXSW and Tribeca along with national TV broadcasts on PBS and the Sundance Channel. Along the way they have continued to pursue other sub-cultural documentary subjects, including: rogue economists, lucha libre wrestlers, ganja-preneurs and evangelical Christian surfers.
The filmmakers of RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE grew up in different parts of the country, but a passion for the swamp sealed their pact. Cajun Reeboks were donned and the journey began in search of the notorious “nutria rat”. Four years after first setting sail for Louisiana they emerged from the bayou covered in mosquito bites and an unwavering love for a place at the “End of the World” that is bursting with joy.
One person’s pest is another person’s pet.
Native to South America, nuria were introduced to the Bayou to be farmed for fur production during the Great Depression. Some escaped, and with no natural predators, they out-populated the native muskrats. Their numbers were kept somewhat in check until the anti-fur movement of the 1980s wiped out the fur market.
The population soon sky-rocketed to more than 25 million, literally eating the wetlands & causing tremendous environmental destruction. The state of Louisiana instituted the Nutria Control Program, which pays $5/tail.
Righteous Furs, a collective of fashion designers, prides themselves in utilizing nutria pelts. Their motto is “Save Our Wetlands. Wear more nutria.”
Efforts to create a nutria cuisine have been less successful.
LOADED: A DISARMING HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT (City Lights Publishing) – is a provocative, timely, and deeply researched history of gun culture, and how it reflects race and power in the United States. Although LOADED is highly topical as we broadcast because of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, production of this show actually began last November, 2017. And in case you feel overloaded with coverage of the aftermath of this latest massacre, Professor Dunbar-Ortiz’s history of gun culture and the second amendment is very different from the approach taken by the mainstream media or academia. For one thing, it is rooted in her 50+ years of activism. In the 1960s and 1970s, she was active in the anti-Vietnam War Movement and radical left movements, and worked closely with the SDS, the Weather Underground, and the African National Congress. She was also very active in the women’s rights movement, and from 1968–1970 was a leading figure in the radical feminist group, Cell 16. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades, and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. In 1974, she began teaching in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University – Hayward, and she helped found their Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies, where she is now Professor Emerita.
She has published many books and articles, including Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years, 1960–1975 . Blood on the Border is about what she saw during the Nicaraguan Contra war against the Sandinistas in the 1980s. Her 2014 book, AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, radically reframes Eurocentric history.
Her 1977 book, The Great Sioux Nation, was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva.
We are also thankful to the ever magnificent Roy Zimmerman for permission to include his “SING ALONG SECOND AMENDMENT SONG” after our interview with Professor Dunbar-Ortiz. You can hear more of his pointed, pithy civic lessons here: http://www.royzimmerman.com/
or see him perform the Sing Along 2nd Amendment song here: