Techqua Ikachi: Land - My Life

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


Realizing that their culture is on the brink of disappearing, partly as a result of assimilation, partly because of the death of those who have sustained the tribe’s oral tradition, the elders from the Hopi village of Hotevilla decided to make a record of their life that could be passed on to their children, as well as to the world. Their account makes for a fascinating and unique exploration of Hopi tradition, thought and culture. The film is the result of a collaboration between a seventy-four-year-old Hopi filmmaker, a Swiss artist and a young Swiss filmmaker. It’s a documentary, grounded in oral history with film, newsreel, video and photo supplements, that evolves a totally different point of view from the one which would emerge from the traditional white, academic, ethnographic examination.

The film chronicles the impact, indeed it might be called a quasigenocidal one, that the interference of the American government has had on the Hopis over the years. By documenting their suffering, including eviction from their homeland, starvation, imprisonment and exile, Techqua Ikachi paints a picture of incredible endurance and resistance against overwhelming odds on the part of a people who have steadfastly refused to give up their land and way of life. Today the pervasive intrusion of American mass culture makes the continued existence of the Hopi life-style problematic. It will be a tremendous tragedy if it disappears, but the filmmakers have provided an inestimable service by cinematically preserving an entire people’s life and history.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]