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Old 04-12-2006, 05:59 AM   #1
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Film shows activist to be more dangerous than ever

Man I want to see this!




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This Message Is Reprinted Under The FAIR USE
Doctrine Of International Copyright Law:
_http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html_
(http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html)
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FROM: INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY NEWSPAPER

_http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096412809_
(http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096412809)

John Trudell.

(javascript:PrintWindow();) Posted: April 10, 2006 _Click to Enlarge_
(http://www.indiancountry.com/pix/1096412809_large.jpg)

(http://www.indiancountry.com/pix/1096412809_large.jpg) Photo courtesy
Gregory Bayne/Appaloosa Pictures -- John Trudell, Santee poet and former
spokesman for the Indians of All Tribes' occupation of Alcatraz Island, offered
fresh insights on the occupation, the American Indian Movement and the Indian
rights movement over the past 37 years in the film ''Trudell'' and in his
talk following its recent screening in Tucson, Ariz. The two standing ovations
he received after the film show that he is still dangerous to the status quo.
Film shows activist to be more dangerous than ever

By Brenda Norrell -- Today staff

TUCSON, Ariz. - John Trudell received two standing ovations after the
screening of ''Trudell,'' proving that he is more dangerous, more lucid and more
capable of mobilizing the masses than ever.

Speaking after the film, Trudell said the greatest fear in the corporate
world is that Indian people will use their intelligence, deprogram themselves
and think coherently.

Trudell said when one realizes this, one could never be imprisoned, because
freedom remains within one's intellect and coherent thought.

''The power that they fear [is] the thoughts they cannot control.''

The film, by director Heather Rae, includes poignant archival footage of the
occupation of Alcatraz by the Indians of All Tribes and the American Indian
Movement's takeover of the BIA building in Washington, clash with police in
Custer, S.D. and stronghold at Wounded Knee.

The film's legacy, however, remains embodied in the tender memories of
Trudell's family killed in a house fire on Duck Valley tribal land in Nevada, a
fire that remains unsolved.

In 1979, while protesting U.S. policy on American Indians, Trudell burned an
American flag on the steps of FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. Within a
matter of hours, Trudell's wife, Tina Manning, their unborn child, children
and Manning's mother were killed in the fire that trapped them inside their
house.

Trudell said his wife's life and the importance of her work with the elderly
in her own community at Duck Valley, and the threat this posed to those in
power, should not be minimalized.

When the film screening ended at the Loft Theater, Trudell took the stage
and, in his smooth near-rap epitaph to this tragedy, the Santee poet and
one-time voice of Alcatraz and spokesman for AIM revealed the truths born from this
wound.

Trudell said when he was younger; he fought for a revolution that he
believed would lead to freedom. Now, he said, he knows that the path to true freedom
is responsibility.

''We must use the power of intelligence to create power and our own
reality,'' Trudell told the audience.

Between 1969 and 1981, the FBI compiled more than 17,000 pages of documents
on Trudell, one of the largest in FBI history. Trudell said he realizes now
why he was considered dangerous.

''I have the power to think coherently at times.''

After the death of his family, Trudell said he wandered as if in a fog,
cared for by his friend, Dino Butler. Then, he began to hear words and lines, and
he realized his wife wanted him to write these down; these became his poetry
and songs.

''I died then. I had to die to get through it and learn to live again.'' He
said there are some things that happen to us in life that neither the magic
nor the distance offered by time can heal. This was one of those. With some
falling-aparts, he said, there is no way to fix it.

''I'm following the lines. She gave me the lines to follow.''

In 1983, Trudell began to put his words to music with the help of a Kiowa
guitar legend, the late Jesse Ed Davis, and Jackson Browne.

Trudell offered fresh insights on Alcatraz, AIM and the Indian rights
movement over the past 37 years in the film and his talk.

Film images include the clash with police at the courthouse in Custer, S.D.,
and the struggle that followed on Pine Ridge and the murders of AIM members.
Vocalizing treaty rights and the rights of sovereign nations came with a
price, and many men, women, children and elderly were killed.

''It made the spirit of the people stronger,'' Trudell said.

Trudell felt, when he was younger, that he'd been born in the wrong place
and time; he said he now feels that he was born at the right time and place.

In ''Trudell,'' Robert Redford credited Trudell with ''explosive insights.''
Redford said that for him, spending time with Trudell was like spending time
with the Dalai Lama for others. Redford said he was most impressed with how
Trudell committed his life to a cause that was so dangerous.

Trudell's poetry of sound and lyrics won him the praise of Bob Dylan. Browne
said Trudell helped carry listeners across the great divide. Actor Kris
Kristofferson spoke of what Trudell endured since ''they took his family away.''
Actor Gary Farmer called Trudell a Socrates for Indian people.

Speaking of Trudell and the movement were actor Val Kilmer, co-star with
Trudell in ''Thunderheart,'' and Wilma Mankiller, activist and former principal
chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Mankiller said that beginning with Alcatraz, Trudell was considered a threat
because he could mobilize the people.

Lori Pourier said of Trudell: ''John was the voice of reason.''

Pourier remembers the women in the movement: slain Anna Mae Aquash and
Ingrid Washinawatok and those who died young, including Nilak Butler. ''John was
there for all our sisters.''

Born in 1946 in Omaha, Neb., Trudell's father was Santee and his maternal
grandfather, who rode with Pancho Villa, was from Mexico. Trudell said his
grandfather kidnapped his grandmother and fled to Kansas, where his mother grew
up as a Mexican. Trudell's mother died when he was 6 years old.

''I remember she gave me grapes, green grapes.'' She hugged him and kissed
him and she was gone.

During questions at the Loft, Trudell said he is neither American Indian nor
Native American because he and his people predate America as human beings.
The last 500 years, he said, have been rough, but the people survived.

When asked in the film by an interviewer how he felt about Columbus Day,
Trudell responded: ''Would you celebrate Osama bin Laden Day?''

Trudell said the genocide of the people includes the erasing of ancestral
memory. He said all people once lived in tribes, but non-Natives have been
programmed to the point where they have lost their ancestral memory.

When asked about traditional ceremonies, he said the importance remains in
understanding the ceremony and respecting the power. ''Tradition is based on
respect,'' he said, pointing out that it takes more than reciting the lines of
a ceremony to understand it and honor it.

As for voting, he said he doesn't take part in replacing one bad leader with
another. There's another problem with electing leaders within the current
system, he said: they give people someone else to blame, rather than taking
personal responsibility.

''Bush is the new one to hate, but when I was young, it was Nixon.''

In ''Trudell,'' there is a film clip showing him as an actor in
''Thunderheart,'' portraying a life similar to his own.

''I'm not a militant, I'm a warrior,'' he said to the FBI in the film.

On stage at the Loft, Trudell said, ''It is all about energy.''

Trudell said human beings are made of the same elements as those within the
earth. These elements can produce toxic materials when processed, such as
uranium for nuclear power. In the same manner, toxins can be produced from the
processing and programming of human beings.

Trudell said the secret remains in coherent and intelligent thought.

''This is our power.''
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:29 AM   #2
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Saw John perform in NYC a few years ago. He is a very intense person. His eyes can either scare you or comfort you.
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:41 AM   #3
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I can't wait to see this!
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:10 PM   #4
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I saw a screening of this at the Heard Museum last Thursday. It was also shown on PBS last night (with a few more airings coming up). Very powerful film. Too bad nobody from the film was at the screening. I'm really glad I went to see it.
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:39 PM   #5
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AWESOME thanks for the heads up on PBS.. I found it's playing here at 3am on Sunday .. that's ok I got DVD burner on the sattellite box... If anyone else wants to find out when and where it's playing in your area this link will help!

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/broadcast.html
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Old 04-12-2006, 01:55 PM   #6
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thanks BB..
It's playing 2 am tonight in Tally
Guess I'd better record it!
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:05 PM   #7
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http://trudellthemovie.com/

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Old 04-16-2006, 11:09 PM   #8
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so, did anyone else see this movie? What did you think? I just watched what I recorded on PBS. I think they chopped about a half hour off.
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:55 PM   #9
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I watched it after I recorded it; as well....
I loved it...I'm going to watch it again tonight just incase I missed anything..... The DVD comes out May 15. It probably has more, if they cut out the PBS version.
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:02 PM   #10
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There's about a half hour more, if I remember correctly. You don't spend too much time looking at your watch during a film like this. One of the coolest scenes was when the hummingbird flew in front of the camera while they were discussing his late wife. Almost magic, eh?
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