A Thousand Roads

Director: Chris Eyre
Screenwriters: Scott Garen, Joy Harjo

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


These two short films offer impressive visual depictions of contemporary Indigenous life in central Australia and across the Western Hemisphere: one from an Aboriginal radio DJ's perspective, and one spanning the far-flung landscapes of Native American nations.

In Green Bush, Kaytetye director Warwick Thornton pays homage to the rural Indigenous disc jockeys whose responsibilities often extend beyond the airwaves. Kenny is a local DJ whose presence on the air night after night is a safe haven for many of his listeners, especially when he plays the historic performance by activist Gary Foley during the 1982 Clash concert. At the radio station, the second-run equipment and eight-track tapes aren't as important as the hot tea and soup Kenny brings along each night. He soon realizes that his job is about more than just playing music.

As the signature film for the National Museum of the American Indian, A Thousand Roads offers a panhemispheric journey covering the Americas from Alaska to Peru and the Navajo Nation to Manhattan. Four Native Americans—a Mohawk stockbroker, a Navajo gangbanger, a Quechuan healer, and a young Inupiat girl—go about their daily lives with remarkable grace. Cheyenne/Arapaho director Chris Eyre takes viewers on a journey with these four characters as their lives move onward, along with the rest of the remaining Indigenous nations of the west.

— Bird Runningwater

Screening Details

  • Section: Special Screenings
  • Film Type: Short
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 40 min.
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