When: Tue., Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. 2018
Kicking off the Briscoe Museum’s 2018 Native Film Series is a double feature screening of two documentaries: 1986’s short Navajo Talking Picture and 2007’s feature Miss Navajo (pictured). In Navajo Talking Picture, director Arlene Bowman turns the camera on her grandmother in hopes of rediscovering her traditional cultural heritage. In Miss Navajo, director Billy Luther explores a young girl’s journey to capture the title of Miss Navajo, a longstanding pageant that includes competitions like sheep butchering, rug weaving and bread making. Funny enough, contemporary talent and evening gown portions are also part of the overall competition. “What inspired me about the beauty pageant was that here was a crossroads where the Western competition met Native influences,” Luther said in a statement. “The result was something not gaudy and glitzy like most beauty pageants, but something beautiful and profound — something that really reveals the true essence of beauty.” Dr. Dustin Tahmahkera (Comanche Nation), indigenous studies professor at the University of Texas at Austin and curator of the Briscoe series, will lead a discussion after the screening.