Stories in Stone is the first film that looks at the Narragansett wall building tradition from multiple perspectives, artistic, spiritual, multi-generational and as a story of tribal affirmation. While some would see wall building as the haphazard placement of rocks, Stories in Stone, demonstrates that the wall’s beauty is the result of a finely honed and ever evolving sculptural aesthetic. While some see the walls as ‘the only option’ for the Narragansett, Stories in Stone makes clear, that more often than not, becoming a mason is a choice, a choice that allows freedom of movement, freedom from ‘inside’ work, freedom from working for others and the freedom to join a long and illustrious line of ancestors. While many believe that ‘tradition’ among New England Tribes is long gone, Stories in Stone makes clear that wall building remains a means to assert and perpetuate Tribal identity; in the choice to be a mason, in the placement of symbols, in the use of a particular aesthetic, in the visceral relationship to stone and in one’s spiritual connection to nature.
In other words, the film needs more historical, geographical, and economic information. Without it, it's like any New Age story--a flute song of a documentary. Some people may enjoy it, but I found it lacking.
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