Films: “Shellmound” and “In the Light of Reverence” – Fellowship of Humanity    

Films: “Shellmound” and “In the Light of Reverence”

Posted by Humanist Hall on January 24, 2010as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday,  February  24  at  7:30  pm

Double Feature:

  • Shellmound

  • In the Light of Reverence

Presented by Corrina Gould

Corrina, a Chochenya Ohlone and co-founder of Shellmound Walks,

will facilitate discussions.


This local film tells the story of how one location in Emeryville was transformed from a center of pre-historic cultures to a commercial mecca for modern people.  Before modern developers transformed this site, it was host to a decrepit paint factory that leaked toxic waste into the San Francisco Bay. This important film examines the decisions made during the toxic cleanup, excavation, and construction through the eyes of the City of Emeryville, the developer, the archaeologists, and the Native Californians who worked on the site.

In the Light of Reverence

Ten years in the making, this important documentary explores American culture’s relationship to nature in three places considered sacred by native peoples:  the Colorado Plateau in the Southwest, Mt. Shasta in California, and Devils Tower in Wyoming.  Rich in minerals and timber and beloved by recreational users, these “holy lands” exert a spiritual gravity which pulls Native Americans into conflicts with mining companies, New Age practitioners, and rock climbers. Ironically, all sides see themselves as besieged. Their battles tell a new story of culture clashes in an ancient landscape.

This film juxtaposes reflections of Hopi, Wintu and Lakota elders on the spiritual meaning of place with views of non-Indians who have their own ideas about how best to use the land. The film captures the spiritual yearning and materialistic frenzy of our time.

Our DVD (released in January 2003) includes seven additional scenes, an extended interview with Lakota scholar Vine Deloria, Jr., a new, eleven-minute short film on Zuni Salt Lake and Quechan Indian Pass, and interviews with the filmmakers.

The film is narrated by Peter Coyote and Tantoo Cardinal. It premiered in San Francisco on Saturday, February 17, 2001 at the Palace of Fine Arts. It received the Best Documentary Feature Award at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. It was nationally broadcast on the PBS series P.O.V. on August 14, 2001 and was seen by three million people.

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