ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught)

This short film will screen with other short films in Block 10 | NATIVE TONGUES
Sunday, December 11th at 12pm
Palm Springs Art Museum. Palm Springs, California.
Buy Tickets Here 

Filmed on the Qualla Boundary and Cherokee Nation, ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught) explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. ᎤᏕᏲᏅ circles the intersection of tradition, language, land, and a commitment to maintaining balance. This film was created in collaboration with independent artists from both Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

This film is part of a series and multimedia platform, made in partnership with Indigenous storytellers and their communities worldwide, invites learning from time-honored and current Indigenous ways of being. Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since the beginning of time. To heal, we must recognize that we are in relationship with Earth, a place that was in balance for millennia. More information at www.reciprocity.org.

Director Biography – Brit Hensel

Brit Hensel is an Oklahoma based writer and award-winning filmmaker whose work focuses on Indigenous storytelling and environmental justice. A citizen of Cherokee Nation, she was recently awarded the 4th World Indigenous Media Fellowship and is a 2022 Tulsa Artist Fellow. Previously, Brit directed the documentary films, Zibi Yajdan (2019) and Native and American (2017). Brit’s films have screened both nationally and abroad, including Māoriland Film Festival. She was awarded NeXtGen’s 30 Under 30 and was a NeXt Doc Collective Film Fellow.

In 2019, she worked as a producer for Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People, an Emmy-winning, documentary-style program featuring the people, places, history, and culture of the Cherokee Nation. Brit recently worked on the first season of the FX series, Reservation Dogs.

Brit’s work largely explores traditional Cherokee values, language, and her peoples’ connection to land in Oklahoma (former Indian Territory) and in her ancestral homelands of North Carolina (Qualla Boundary). Brit continues to use her love for storytelling to help amplify the voices and values of her community. Most importantly, she hopes her work honors and makes Cherokee people proud.

Director Statement

It is important to me that this film included the perspectives of western and eastern Giduwa (Cherokee) people. Although our communities are separated by distance, our collaboration on this film offers a balanced understanding of what reciprocity means to our people and how it’s actualized in our lives. This film was brought to life by a team of all Giduwa people, in front of and behind the camera, and was shot on lands that have shaped us.

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