Crew Statements for Columbus Day Legacy

Crew Statements for Columbus Day Legacy

"I had never heard about the Denver Columbus Day parade until September of 2006, when my producer Leighton C. Peterson was a visiting professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. After talking with several people about the conflicting politics involved, he approached me with the idea of shooting during the parade in October. We knew there was a unique human story here, and we were onto something significant when both the Italian and Native American communities passionately emphasized that the 2007 parade—signifying the 100th anniversary of the holiday in Colorado—was the one to capture. We returned the following year with two film crews to simultaneously capture this passionate energy on both sides.

"I decided that Columbus Day Legacy needed to begin by representing both sides of this conflict somewhat equally, a difficult undertaking as a Navajo filmmaker. What emerged as a result of this persistent vision is a contemporary digital portrait of two strong and proud ethnic communities, both fighting to pr serve the memory of their prejudiced experiences as representatives of the original inhabitants and immigrant Americans. Both groups were historically far removed from any political elite or aristocracy. During editing, this formed the central conflict in Columbus Day Legacy as the United States grapples with everyday questions about rights, immigration, and identity in the 21st Century."

- Bennie Klain (Navajo), Director, Columbus Day Legacy


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Should tribes like the Shoshone and Arapaho attempt to bring back beautiful ancestral objects—drums, pipes, eagle wing fans, medicine bags, weapons, and ceremonial attire that ar