January 05, 2010

Summer Sun Winter Moon

A synopsis of the film mentioned in Lewis and Clark Symphony and Documentary:

Acclaimed Summer Sun Winter Moon Film to Headline Native Cinema ShowcaseRob Kapilow, a celebrated classical music artist, is commissioned to compose a symphonic work with a specific theme: a reflection of the enduring legacy of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Often referenced as a young Leonard Bernstein, the youthfully energetic Kapilow forgoes his original intent to set the journals of Lewis and Clark to music, choosing to actually re-trace the journey himself as a catalyst for fresh inspiration.

Upon engaging tribal representatives out West in active dialogue about how best to convey their stories, Kapilow finds himself overwhelmed at the crossroads of textbook history and the tangible perspective of the American Indian. Seeking to collaborate with Blackfeet tribal member Darrell Robes Kipp, the innovative artist delves into a sharply alternative--and controversial--avenue of perspective: that of the indigenous storyteller’s view “from the river bank, not the boat.”

“There’s nothing to celebrate here…not for Indian people,” says Darrell Robes Kipp, referencing the planned events for the celebration of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. The co-founder of the Nitzipuahsin Blackfeet Language Immersion School, Kipp is a poet and educator who has been laboring to salvage his native people’s language from the brink of near-extinction. Enlisted by Kapilow, Kipp agrees to author the libretto for the symphony project, offering his own hand to the composer who dared to reach across the divide.
Comment:  For more on the Native reaction to Lewis and Clark, see Indians Told Reenactors to Go Home. For more on Native films, see Native Documentaries and News.

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