In light of comments by James Cameron that have recently re-surfaced and the renewed calls for boycotts of Avatar 2 by Indigenous activists, CBR.com has created this great list of 10 films by Indigenous filmmakers you can watch if you want something other than Avatar. The Los Angeles Times describes the calls for a boycott:
"Join Natives & other Indigenous groups around the world in boycotting this horrible & racist film," Yuè Begay, a Navajo artist and co-chair of Indigenous Pride Los Angeles who is behind the campaign's resurgence, wrote in a tweet that has been liked by more than 40,000 users. "Our cultures were appropriated in a harmful manner to satisfy some [white flag emoji] man's savior complex."
And CBR explains why they created the list:
Alongside Cameron's recent comments, discussions on representation and "blue face" controversies have resurfaced. "Blue face" is the practice of taking creative liberties to hybridize various indigenous groups and make their own race then have non-Indigenous actors play them. Various groups across the globe have called for a boycott of the new film. At the very least, it makes sense to draw attention to the excellent films actually produced and created by Indigenous people.
I've included the trailer for one of the films on the list, Waikiki, directed by Kanaka Maoli Filmmaker Chris Kahunahanait. It looks incredible! CBR describes the film:
Considered the first feature film to be written and directed by a Native Hawaiian, Waikiki explores the parts of Hawaii that are usually covered up by the island state's touristy lei-laced facade. In his directorial debut, Chris Kahunahana creates a dark and gripping story unlike anything usually associated with Hawaii's beaches.
Living in a van by the ocean, Waikiki's teacher/hula dancer Kea finds her life spiraling further out of control after she hits a homeless man named Wo with her van. Critically acclaimed, the film presents itself as a study of the often-overlooked native Hawaiian perspective. Showcasing Kea's tragedies via a Lynchian perspective, the film grants audiences a surreal experience that feels tragically all too real for many of Hawaii's native inhabitants.
Thanks, CBR, for the list – I'm going to watch some this weekend!