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Seneca Nation Territory & India / 2018 / Short Doc / English / Digital / 16X9 / Stereo / 18 Minutes
What happens when two Indian filmmakers, one from southern India and the other from an Indian reservation in western New York State, visits each other’s homelands? What are the similarities or differences between these ancient cultures? How does the modern world affect how they see themselves, each other and the outside world?
GATHERED PLACES is a documentary film that shows the worlds of India and Native America through the “Indian” lenses of filmmakers Terry Jones and Govind Deecee.
Thanks to Christopher Columbus, there are two groups of people, geographically on opposites sides of the Earth who will forever be linked together by the English language word of “Indian.” Although the content of their histories are uniquely different, they do share some pronounced commonalities; namely that these ancient peoples have retained their cultures despite the effects of colonization.
Indians (from India and the Americas) have been studied by others for centuries. Much of the written histories about these peoples have been shaped by what is seen through the Western lens. The dominant culture’s perceptions have been shaped by these historical texts. In 1947, India attained its Independence from the British Empire. While the people of India were working through the process of decolonization, the Indians of the Americas were trying to maintain their sovereignty and autonomy by holding steadfastly onto treaties made with the United States government.
How do the people of today perceive the Indians of modern times? Whether one is referring to the people of India or the Americas, in addition to authoritative, defining historical texts, the technology of the still and moving image has created strong and long-lasting impressions of these peoples. With access to education and modern technology, the Indians of today are able to be the historians and the storytellers for their own people. The “outsider” looking-in is gradually being replaced by Indians who are looking outward and within.