October 23, 2010

Streep and Momaday narrate Bandelier film

Meryl Streep, N. Scott Momaday Donate Talents For Film on Bandelier National Monument and Jemez MountainsWhat national park could refuse the star power of an Academy Award or Pulitzer Prize winner? Not the folks at Bandelier National Monument, who were able to get Meryl Streep and N. Scott Momaday to provide narration for a film on the monument and the Jemez Mountains.

The film, Sky Island, was written, produced and directed by National Park Service and Harpers Ferry Center filmmaker John Grabowska. It is intended for national PBS broadcast in 2011, but a short version of the film premiered in Bandelier's new theater this past August.

The film, according to Mr. Grabowska, traces and describes the interesting landscape of northern New Mexico, where a range of mountains rises up from the high desert. The volcanic Jemez Mountains, which cover about 1,500 square miles, are isolated from all other ranges--an island in the sky, surrounded by a desert sea, he said. Bandelier National Monument, meanwhile, is encompassed in this rise from the Rio Grande to Cerro Grande.

Sky Island "profiles this enchanting landscape and our place within it, with dramatic climate change effects already altering the desert and alpine ecosystem," said Mr. Grabowska.

I visited Bandelier National Monument several years ago. Here's the scoop on it:

Bandelier National MonumentBandelier National Monument is a 33,677 acres (13,629 ha) National Monument preserving the homes of the Ancestral Pueblo people. It is named after Swiss anthropologist Adolph Bandelier, who researched the cultures of the area. Bandelier was designated a National Monument on February 11, 1916, while most of its backcountry became a "designated wilderness" in October 1976. The National Park Service co-operates with surrounding pueblos, other federal agencies and state agencies to manage the park, which receives 300,000 visitors annually.Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.

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