DER Documentary

From the Inside Out

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by April Chabries, W. Grant Williams & Dan Fredley
color, 27 min, 2003




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In the Navajo language there is neither a word for religion nor art. The only word that could be used to describe both is "hozho" – beauty, balance, order and harmony. Navajo history is turbulent, and in order to survive the Navajo had to adapt. Baskets are a part of this history, changing throughout time and adapting with the people. They contribute to the balance, harmony, and beauty of Navajo life. Inititally purely functional pieces, baskets gradually became integrated into various ceremonies, elevating them to sacred and symbolic levels. Oppression, trade, and technology eventually led to dwindling numbers of basket weavers, but beginning in the 1970s Navajo basketry experienced a renaissance led by a group of families in the Douglas Mesa region of the Utah reservation.

Secularized basketry is now a thriving part of Navajo trade and traditional baskets continue to be an important part of Navajo ceremonial life. In intimate detail, From the Inside Out depicts both the new and old roles baskets play in the lives of contemporary basket-weavers.


Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Durango Film Festival, Colorado, 2005
First Place - Educational Films, Broadcast Education Association Faculty Contest, 2005
Contemporary Native America Screening, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, 2005
Northeastern Anthropological Association Ethnographic Film & Video Festival, Lake Placid, NY, 2005
Heard Museum Film Festival, Arizona, 2005
19th Pärnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 2005
Society for Visual Anthropology/American Anthropological Association Conference, Washington DC, 2005
Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, Austin, TX, 2006

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