Bringing It All Back Home
Director: Chris Eyre
- 1998 Sundance Film Festival
Each of these documentaries—Sounds of Faith, Backbone of the World, and Bringing It All Back Home—addresses the issue of going home. Sounds of Faith records the beauty of Lumbee gospel music from the filmmaker’s community in North Carolina, reflecting pride and a simple understanding of family, spirituality, and musical tradition. In Backbone of the World, veteran filmmaker George Burdeau has made what was recently described as “possibly the first Native American postmodern documentary.” Combining experimental and cinema vérité formats, Burdeau travels home to the Blackfeet Reservation in northern Montana. His healing journey parallels that of the legendary Scarface, who traveled afar to bring knowledge back to the people.
Backbone of the World gives voice to the Blackfeet community by weaving an ancient tribal story together with contemporary community dilemmas: the threat of oil drilling on the reservation and the issue of modernism versus tradition. Written by a high school student, Hawaiian Sting offers a humorous look at why and how flies came to reside in Hawaii. Kalani, who is not your average slacker, comes up with a snappy solution to life’s pests—da Hawaiian sting. In the documentary Bringing It All Back Home, filmmaker Chris Eyre follows provocative native performance artist James Luna to his place of origin, the La Jolla Indian Reservation in southern California. Luna has performed his ironic and controversial social commentary all over the country. However, until now he has not performed for his own community where, claims Luna, “we’re our own toughest critics.” Luna touches audiences in a powerful way. As one community member puts it, “His work leaves you feeling kind of . . .deep.”