Distributed by Venice Visionary Media
Produced by Galyn, Gwyn and Alan Gorg
Directed by Alan Gorg
DVD, color (with the Autobiography of a Hopi portion in black and white), 80 min.
Sr. High - General Adult
Dance, Economics, Environmental Studies, Music, Social Sciences
Reviewed by Michael J. Coffta, Business Librarian, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Date Entered: 4/30/2012
The film presents itself as a “trilogy,” consisting of the 1978 Autobiography of a Hopi (9 minutes), the 2007 docudrama Earth Spirit, and the 2008 quasi-documentary Third World Investment Seminar. The first segment centers on an Arizona community of Hopis. This brief work offers tremendous insight into the Hopi culture, particularly in the areas of music and dance, with extremely rare footage and interviews. While offering educational value, this segment also tugs at the audience’s nerves and sense of justice with firsthand accounts of Hopis being moved off of their land and moved to military schools to learn English and serve in World War II. The second portion, Earth Spirit, is a work of realistic fiction, portraying a contemporary Hopi family struggling with the temptation of selling land to corporations. The actors convincingly represent a Hopi family’s struggles with finances, loyalty to Hopi heritage, marital stress, and alcohol abuse. This piece is exceptionally well done and is engaging throughout. The explicit and implicit messages of loyalty and family are well delivered. An epilogue states that the film was devoted to Hopi elders who felt that a message needed to be sent to the next generation.
The third segment of the film, Third World Investment Seminar, is a satirical work dealing with economics and the environmental consequences of the free market economy. The accompanying CD consists of stills and trailers from the various segments of this work.
This work is recommended on the strength of the first two segments, but comes with the prominent cautions of the production and subjectivity concerns that accompany Third World Investment Seminar.