May 27, 2007

Skateboarders, rappers, and punk rockers

“When Your Hands Are Tied”:  Keeping Traditions in the Age of Hip HopMia Boccella Hartle and Marley Shebala’s documentary, When Your Hands Are Tied, profiles the lives of young Natives and the challenges and rewards of embracing their ethnic identity amidst America’s cultural goulash.

The tenor of the film is uniformly upbeat. The filmmakers focused on Natives from the Southwest—teens to tribal elders, the Governor of the Nambe Pueblo who started a break dancing team, members of the Apache Skateboarders, Navajo rappers and punk rock musicians, and former beauty queen—all acknowledging the power they’ve gained from reaffirming their cultural ties.

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