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Broken Rainbow (1985)

Documentary chronicling the government relocation of 10,000 Navajo Indians in Arizona.


Victoria Mudd
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Martin Sheen ... Narrator (voice)
Buffy Sainte-Marie ... Translator Voice (voice)
Burgess Meredith ... Historical Voices (voice)
Laura Nyro Laura Nyro ... Self (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mark Andrews Mark Andrews ... Self
Ruby Askie Ruby Askie
Violet Bikadie Violet Bikadie
Dennis DeConcini Dennis DeConcini ... Self
Gerald Ford ... Self (archive footage)
Barry Goldwater ... Self
Grandfather Semu Haute Grandfather Semu Haute ... Native Voice (voice) (as Semu Huate)
Daniel Inouye ... Self (as Daniel K. Inouye)
Winona LaDuke Winona LaDuke ... Self
Manuel Lujan Manuel Lujan ... Self (as Manual Lujan)
Mo Udall Mo Udall ... Self (as Morris Udall)


Examines the history leading to the passage of P.L. 93-531, in 1974, to force the relocation of 10,000 Diné (Navajo) from Hopi land. Behind the scenes, argues the film, it was all about mining rights as Peabody Coal used the Hopi tribal council through its attorney, John Boyden, to evict Diné families who had lived in peace with Hopi people for centuries. As context, the film discusses the Long Walk, arbitrary reservation boundaries, the advent of Indian schools, the formation of compliant tribal councils, excavation contracts for coal, uranium, oil and natural gas that paid impoverished tribes pennies on the dollar, and the apologetics of elected officials, including Mo Udall. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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User Reviews

Beautiful Movie that Brings Important People to Light
7 April 2012 | by mistovermoonSee all my reviews

This is an excellent movie, a well deserved Academy winner! Having watched it for the first time in 2012, I wish I'd watched it earlier. The production is wonderful. It was made in 1985 and updated in 2004 ("Extras".) Expect the quality of a film released in 1985, but the message, is timeless. What have we allowed to go on here? (Will leave out details for those who haven't seen the movie.) I've seen comments regarding the land, crystals, medicinal/food plants as not being relevant to the Hopis and Navajo's plight. That couldn't be further from the truth. I encourage those who haven't experienced a deep connection with nature to spend quiet time purposefully connecting with an open heart and open senses. Then you may better feel how connected we all are. To know nature at that level, is to realize that nature is part of our family. To leave land that one has been living with as family for most of their lives is to experience the death of a dearly beloved one, a death as part of your own heart, as all is interconnected. The abuse of the Indian people is one of the great tragedies of this era. What can we do now to change this? Thanks to the movie makers and participants for sharing their stories and creating awareness.

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Release Date:

1985 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Earthworks Films See more »
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