Merata Mita was the first Maori woman to write and direct a feature film and went on to become one of New Zealand’s best-known filmmakers. In the documentary Merata: How Mum Decolonized the Screen, her son, filmmaker Hepi Mita, explores the barriers she broke and the sacrifices she made to become an important activist voice for indigenous people worldwide. Merata will be screened with the short film Fast Horse, an award-winning film that takes a fast-paced and thrilling ride with the jockeys of Indian Relay, often called “North America’s original extreme sport,” which features bareback riders who jump from horse to horse.
To honor the exhibitions Pueblo Dynasties: Master Potters from Matriarchs to Contemporaries and When I Remember, I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California, the Crocker presents a film series that celebrates the contributions of indigenous peoples through film. Curated by Maya Austin (Pascua Yaqui/Blackfeet/Chicana), formerly of the Sundance Institute, this series offers three diverse films, each preceded by a short film and introduction by Austin. An audience discussion will follow each screening.