FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - On Saturday from 2-4 p.m., the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) will screen "The Return of Navajo Boy," an award-winning documentary feature film, explores the costs to health and culture on the Navajo Nation and throughout the Southwest. This screening is part of MNA's 2012 Heritage Program Film Series, sponsored in part by the Arizona Humanities Council.
"The Return of Navajo Boy" (58 minutes) by directors Jeff Spitz and Bennie Klain was shown at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and is a PBS Film. It tells the story of a reunited Navajo family and a federal investigation into uranium contamination. Set in the stunning landscape of Utah's Monument Valley, this unforgettable documentary chronicles the extraordinary saga of how a rediscovered 1950s silent film reel leads to the return of a long-lost brother to his Navajo family. John Wayne Cly, adopted by Anglo missionaries, discovers his lost heritage and travels to Utah for an emotional reunion with his brothers and sisters.
Since the 1930s, members of the Cly family have lived in Monument Valley and appeared as subjects in countless photographs, postcards, and Hollywood westerns, and even in a home movie by legendary director John Ford and a propaganda film by a uranium mining company.
Part mystery, part exposé, and wholly compelling, "The Return of Navajo Boy" engenders spirited discussion and most importantly, performs a healing for the Cly family with the chance to voice their story
Also showing will be a short film "Water is Life," with directors Diedra Peaches and Jake Honyungowa, a documentary which explores the sacredness of water and how the industrialization of the Navajo Nation continues to disrupt the traditional way of life.
MNA has a long and illustrious history and evokes the very spirit of the Colorado Plateau. It serves as the gateway to understanding this region, with nine exhibit galleries revealing Native cultures, artistic traditions, and natural sciences. MNA's four Heritage Program festivals highlight the region's cultures and encourage communication and the exchange of ideas between visitors, educators, and artists. The museum is located three miles north of historic downtown Flagstaff on Highway 180, scenic route to the Grand Canyon. More information about MNA is at musnaz.org or (928) 774-5213.