It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
A selection of resources for engaging with the NYU Reads books.
In the remote Andean highlands of Peru, Victoriano Arisapana cares for the woven footbridge that has stretched over the gorge for hundreds of years. The secrets of this bridge, the only one left from the ancient Incan empire, have been passed down by the men of Victoriano's family for 300 years. He is the Bridge Master, the one who has inherited the sacred task of weaving the bridge and of making the sacrificial offerings to the mountain spirits each year. But his sons are drawn to life in the city and his daughter is prohibited from this male-only tradition. When she goes missing a week before the start of 9th grade, this Andean farmer must confront an uncertain future, caught between preserving family tradition and losing his children to a world of change.
Based on the true story of the Bell Waterline Project, THE CHEROKEE WORD FOR WATER shares the struggle for, opposition to, and ultimate success of a rural Cherokee community to bring running water to their families by using the traditional concept of "gadugi "- working together to solve a problem.
Through parallel story threads set 40 years apart, this absorbing odyssey follows two Western scientists who travel deep into the Amazon jungle looking for a rare plant that possesses healing powers, with enigmatic shaman Karamakate as their guide.
GATHER follows the stories of natives on the frontlines of a growing movement to reconnect with spiritual and cultural identities that were devastated by genocide. An indigenous chef embarks on a ambitious project to reclaim ancient food ways on the Apache reservation; in South Dakota a gifted Lakota high school student, raised on a buffalo ranch, is proving her tribes native wisdom through her passion for science; and a group of young men of the Yurok tribe in Northern California are struggling to keep their culture alive and rehabilitate the habitat of their sacred salmon. All these stories combine to show how the reclaiming and recovery of ancient food ways is a way forward for native Americans to bring back health and vitality to their people.
Professor Cobb explores how many Native people took matters into their own hands and gained a renewed sense of place, harmony, and balance through two religious movements: The Ghost Dance (often misperceived as the last gasp of resistance before the Indians' final vanishing act) and the Peyote Road (a critically important pathway to peace, reconciliation, and belonging).
A GOOD DAY TO DIE chronicles a movement that started a revolution and inspired a nation. By recounting the life story of Dennis Banks, the Native American who co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968 to advocate and protect the rights of American Indians, the film provides an in-depth look at the history and issues surrounding AIM's formation. From the forced assimilation of Native Americans within boarding schools, to discrimination by law enforcement authorities, to neglect by government officials responsible for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, AIM sought redress for the many grievances that its people harbored.
HOPI: SONGS OF THE FOURTH WORLD is a compelling study of the Hopi that captures their deep spirituality and reveals their integration of art and daily life. Amidst the beautiful images of Hopi land and life, a variety of Hopi--a farmer, religious elder, grandmother, painter, potter and weaver--speak about the preservation of the Hopi way.
A young girl living on a remote island in the South Pacific falls in love with her chief's grandson in this beautiful Oscar-nominated film. But when war with their enemies escalates, Wawa is unknowingly betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away, but are pursued by warriors of both tribes. With their lives on the line, the star-crossed lovers must choose between their hearts and the peaceful future of the tribe.
Walter Littlemoon is a 69-year-old Lakota man born and raised in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. At the age of five, he was removed from his family to attend a Federal government boarding school where his culture, language and spirituality were suppressed. THE THICK DARK FOG profiles Walter's journey to heal himself and his community while reclaiming his heritage. The film's title comes from Walter's own self-diagnosis of the state-of-mind that he lived in for so many years until he began to tell his story and heal from his childhood trauma. As time has passed, more positive accounts have surfaced from Native Americans about their school experiences such as being saved from poverty and making life-long friends.
An indigenous community worships American materialism on the tiny Pacific island Tanna. When the American military arrived during World War II, the islanders were amazed by America's fantastic cargo - planes, trucks, refrigerators, canned food. They thought such goods could only come from the Gods. Led by the mysterious prophet John, a religion was born, the John Frum Movement, also known as a Cargo Cult. WAITING FOR JOHN explores this extraordinary religion from the perspective of the last village of believers, as they struggle to preserve their way of life. In the process this film asks, where do prophets -- and faith -- come from?
A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg. Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his "walkabout," a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone.
In this tense and immersive tour de force, audiences are taken directly into the line of fire between powerful, opposing Peruvian leaders who will stop at nothing to keep their respective goals intact. On the one side is President Alan Garcia, who, eager to enter the world stage, begins aggressively extracting oil, minerals, and gas from untouched indigenous Amazonian land. He is quickly met with fierce opposition from indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, whose impassioned speeches against Garcia's destructive actions prove a powerful rallying cry to throngs of his supporters. When Garcia continues to ignore their pleas, a tense war of words erupts into deadly violence.