[GUIDELINES] PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. All responses must be drawn from course material (readings, lectures, discussions) and you must properly cite all references. Answers and pages must be clearly numbered. Your margins should be no larger than 1.25” and your font should be 12-point Times New Roman. Please note that a paragraph is typically at least five sentences long.
No late exams will be accepted. Exams must be submitted via email before 11pm on Tuesday, December 15.
[PART I: SHORT ANSWER – 15 points total]
For each short answer, write a well-developed paragraph that addresses all parts of the question or prompt. Each question is worth 5 points.
(1) What is visual sovereignty? Identify and explain the significance of visual sovereignty and how it connects to Indigenous films/filmmaking and representation. Provide at least one detailed filmic example of how visual sovereignty is asserted or depicted in an Indigenous film.
(2) Identify and explain key aspects of that comprise Indigenous films. Although there are complex discussions surrounding what does and does not constitute Indigenous films, there are minimum required components that define Indigenous films and filmmaking. How is a Native film different from a non-Native film? What elements must be present for a film to be an “Indigenous” one? Why is this significant?
(3) Pick one Indigenous film (Smoke Signals, Cherokee Word for Water, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Winter in the Blood, etc.) to identify and discuss how cultural or political sovereignty is emphasized, asserted, and communicated to audiences. How are distinct political identities and cultural beliefs or customs represented? Please provide detailed specific examples from the film as evidence.
[PART III: ESSAY -10 points]
Choose ONE of the two prompts below. For each prompt, write a short essay of at least 500 words that addresses all parts of the question.
(1) Discuss the similarities and differences between Smoke Signals and Winter in the Blood. How do the main protagonists, Victor Joseph and Virgil Fist Raise, compare? How do the narrative themes (examples include violence, poverty, racism, identity, and loss) connect or diverge? What about the role and depiction of Indigenous women? How do these films communicate “Indianness” and Indigeneity? Please give specific filmic examples to support your argument.
(2) Select one Indigenous film (Smoke Signals, Cherokee Word for Water, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Winter in the Blood, or even Pow Wow Highway) to compare to a non-Native film from earlier in the semester. How do they compare in terms of a Native vs. non-Native film? What are the key characteristics of each? How is the Indigenous film significant in terms of a “Native aesthetic”? Please provide detailed examples from both films to examine a comparison of the cinematic representation of Indians.
[Extra Credit -3 points]
What is your favorite film we watched this semester? In a short paragraph, please explain what particular film resonated most with you and why.