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Shimásáni

8/10
Author: johno-21 from United States
25 March 2010

I recently saw this at the 2010 Palm springs Festival of Native Film & Culture where writer/director Blackhorse Lowe was on hand for an audience Q&A following its screening. This is a 15 minute short film with very little dialog and no music soundtrack. Shot on location in New Mexico Lowe recreates a piece of his own history as he dramatizes his grandmother as a teenager in the 1920's. Mary Jane (Brigadier Brown) lives with her grandmother (Carmelita B. Lowe) on a desolate windswept piece of New Mexico raising sheep and living in a sparse traditional Navajo round house called a Hogan. Mary Jane's older sister (Noelle Brown) is attending school in the white man's world but she hates it. Mary Jane on the other hand would love the chance to go but her grandmother wants her home. She is enthralled at all the wonders found in one of her sisters geography books about the people and places of the world and yearns to see the world away from what is all she knows. This is shot in black and white and white by cinematographer Smokey Nelson and production designer Lambert Blackhorse along with director Lowe and photographer Nelson give this a rich textured look on film and a feel of a return to the 1920's. Lowe even found a copy of the actual book in an old book store of the geography book his grandmother daydreamed over. Look for more form Lowe in the future. I would give this an 8.0 out of 10

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