November 6, 2012
- Location Washington, D.C.
- Price Free
USA I 2010 I 82 min I English
Directed by Anne Makepeace
A remarkable story of cultural revival by the Wampanoag of southeastern Massachusetts, whose ancestors ensured the survival of the first English settlers in America and lived to regret it. Now they are bringing their language home again. The story begins in 1994 when Jessie Little-Doe, an intrepid, thirty-something Wampanoag social worker, began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time addressing her in an incomprehensible language. Jessie was perplexed and a little annoyed–why couldn’t they speak English? Later, she realized they were speaking Wampanoag, a language no one had used for more than a century. These events sent her and members of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Wampanoag communities on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in their language. As a result, Jessie got a Masters in Linguistics at MIT and achieved something that had never been done before–bringing a language alive again in an American Indian community after many generations with no Native speakers.
There will be a discussion with the director, Anne Makepeace, immediately following the screening.
Anne Makepeace has been making award-winning independent films centering on cross-cultural themes for more than twenty years. Her most recent documentary, We Still Live Here, was broadcast on Independent Lens last November, won the 2011 Full Frame Inspiration Award the Moving Mountains Prize at Telluride MountainFilm and was funded by the Guggenheim Foundation, Sundance, ITVS, the National Science Foundation, the LEF Foundation, and Mass Humanities. Makepeace’s previous documentaries include I. M. Pei: Building China Modern (American Masters 2010); Rain in a Dry Land (P.O.V. lead show 2007) which won many awards and was nominated for an Emmy; Robert Capa in Love and War (American Masters 2003) which won a national prime time Emmy; Coming to Light (American Masters 2001), which was short-listed for an Academy Award and won the O’Connor Award for Best Film from the American Historical Association and many other prizes; and Baby It’s You (P.O.V. lead show 1998) which also screened as part of the Whitney Biennial 2000. For more information on Anne Makepeace, visit www.MakepeaceProductions.com
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