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This May Be the Last Time

USA | 2014 | 93 minutes | Sterlin Harjo

Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo investigates the 1962 disappearance of his grandfather, a native of Oklahoma’s Seminole Nation, by deconstructing the multinational origins of the ancient Seminole and Muscogee hymns sung by the rescue party.

May 31, 2014
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Director Sterlin Harjo scheduled to attend

June 1, 2014
AMC Pacific Place 11  
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Director Sterlin Harjo scheduled to attend

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In 1962, a native of the Seminole Nation in Sasakwa, Oklahoma disappeared. Members of the tribe sent out search parties to no avail. As they searched, some sang ancient Seminole and Muscogee (Creek) hymns in hopes of reuniting with their lost brother. Half a century later, the man’s grandson, filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, reexamines the case with his own cinematic investigation of what happened. Along the way, Harjo uses his family history to trace the arc of the tribal songs, which have their roots in the sorrow of the “Trail of Tears” period of the 1830s, during which the federal government forcibly removed the Seminole and Muscogee nations from their homelands in the southeastern U.S., relocating them in the “Indian Territory” that later became Oklahoma. Through interviews with fellow tribal members and elders who took part in the search for his grandfather, Harjo discovers how the hymns were also influenced by musical traditions from Scottish and Appalachian cultures and African American slave communities across the southeast. From the terrible hardships of the uprooted Native Americans sprang a beautiful expression of hope and forgiveness that continues to strengthen and encourage the indigenous people of Oklahoma today. This May Be The Last Time is at once an illuminating document of an endangered way of life, an absorbing mystery, and a moving, deeply personal tribute to the memory of Harjo’s ancestors.

Director Biography

Director Sterlin Harjo, a member of Oklahoma’s Seminole and Muscogee tribes, is the first Native American to receive the U.S. Artists Fellowship. His numerous video documentary shorts and narrative feature films, including Four Sheets To The Wind (2007) and Barking Water (2009), have earned critical and audience acclaim. This May Be The Last Time is Harjo's first feature-length documentary.

Sponsored by Snoqualmie Tribe

Director: Sterlin Harjo
Country: USA
Year: 2014
Running Time: 93 minutes
Producer: Matt Leach, Christina D. King
Cinematographers: Sterlin Harjo, Matt Leach, Shane Brown
Editors: Matt Leach
Music: Ryan Beveridge
Website: Film Official Website
Filmography: Barking Water (2009); Four Sheets to the Wind (2007)
Language: English
Format: HDCAM
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