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Pow Wow: Ethnographic Encounters in the Coachella Valley

Cornell Cinema
Event organized by Cornell Cinema

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"Ethnographic Encounters with the People of the Coachella Valley (2010-2015)” is how director Robinson Devor refers to his film in an opening title card. He'll join us for a post-screening discussion via Skype. The film is “a visually striking anthropological study of a most exotic and surreal culture: that of the Coachella Valley in Palm Springs, CA. Training a precise eye on the communities that have chosen to make their home in a part of the world that would appear to be unsuited for human habitation, Devor is carefully attuned to the absurdity and paradoxes of his subject, as well as to the historical layers and class dynamics that underlie it. Pow Wow’s gaze encompasses a diverse array of landscapes and people, including legendary Las Vegas comedian Shecky Greene, an elderly Austrian heiress, trust-funders, Native Americans, and white golfers who participate in their club’s annual “pow wow” party by wearing feather headdresses. These slices of life gradually come to illustrate the story of Willie Boy, a Paiute youth who escaped a mounted posse on foot across 500 miles of desert in 1908 (and whose story would later inspire Abraham Polonsky’s 1969 film, Tell Them Willie Boy is Here).” (Anthology Film Archives)

Read Richard Brody's review in the New Yorker -

Watch a trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoZ97TmEYf8