BROKEN RAINBOW presents a moving account of the forced relocation of 12,000 Navajo Indians that continues to take place in Northern Arizona. The United States government claims that by moving the Navajo off the land, it is settling a long-standing territorial dispute between the Navajo and Hopi Tribes. To the traditional Navajo and Hopi, there is no dispute. They believe relocation was designed to facilitate energy development.
In the words of the traditional elders: “There is no word for relocation in the Navajo language: to relocate is to disappear and never be seen again.” 25% of the first group of Navajo adults who were relocated were dead within six years. BROKEN RAINBOW speaks for all indigenous people who are struggling to survive as individuals and as distinct cultures in the face of Western technology and values. The film is an appeal from the Earth herself, as it has become impossible in America today to separate environmental issues from Native American survival.
An Earthworks Films production
Produced, Written and Directed by
Maria Florio and Victoria Mudd
Narrated by Martin Sheen
Voiceovers by Buffy Saint Marie, Burgess Meredith, Semu Huate
Original Song by Laura Nyro.
1986 Academy Award Best Documentary Feature
Cine Gold Eagle Award
Best Film, Original Song and Directing
American Indian Film Festival
Kauai Film Festival,
Grand Prize Winner
Deauville France Film Festival,
Japan World Film and Television Festival
“Created out of passionate commitment and composed with loving care."
- New York Times
"Powerful and unsettling...a scathing overview of the shameful treatment of North Americans."
- Spirituality and Health
"Valuable as a reminder of a tragedy unfolding within our own borders."
- Los Angeles Times
Broken Rainbow was screened the evening of Monday, November 5th, 2007 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of a series of Academy Award-Winning Documentaries. Here is what took place:
"The retrospective features the best available prints of these films – often newly struck or restored editions from the documentary collection of the Academy Film Archive. Program handouts feature comprehensive notes on the making of the films and include original still reproductions from the shorts and full-color reproductions of the original feature poster art."