The Tribes of California Present Transformations, a Tribute to All Native American Indians of California
My review: If you don't know a thing about California's Indians, Transformations should teach you something. But if you've read a general book on Indian history, the California chapter undoubtedly covered this topic in more depth. I'd say give the film a pass unless you want to see what Native filmmakers are doing, as I do.
Also, Transformations suffers because four of the five sponsoring tribes are from Northern California and the film concentrates on them. The split between Northern and Southern California Indians is more like 50-50 than 80-20. The film is really a glimpse of Northern California Indian history, not California Indian history in general.
CNIGA was smart to produce a film rather than, say, a booklet. That's the way to reach lots of people these days. But the filmmakers need to think a little further out of the box.
This is a typical case of a documentary's being too respectful of its subject. If the film had shown Indian actors, rappers, and skateboarders and been made with quick cuts, animation, and rock music, it would've conveyed the vibrancy of California's tribes better. Give me a day, 2-3 well-spoken Indians, and a picturesque golf course, and I'll give you a memorable documentary on California's tribes.
For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.