You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Free Land

Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family's painful and poverty-stricken past in powerfully realized memoir film, "Free Land."

With:
With: Minda Martin, Robert E. Martin, Joan Westmoreland, Jared Baker, Judy Bauerlein, Leland Miller, Mary Dee Hammann. Narrator: Minda Martin. By ROBERT KOEHLER

Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of American subjugation of indigenous people, her telling of it is shot through with vital artistry. Pic should continue its excellent fest run, leading to niche vid life.

Martin’s story is framed by father Robert and late, alcoholic mother Shirley, whose failures in business forced them to move constantly around the Southwest. Researching Shirley’s Cherokee family tree, Martin finds this rootless pattern isn’t new: Transcript testimonies from 1851 and 1905 by relatives to government officials (well delivered by voice actors) recount a personal trail of tears, where families are pushed off ancestral land by whites, and compelled to move from place to place to find work. The voiceovers are illustrated by a rich tapestry of mostly silent-film footage and sound-design work that turns history into a kind of dreamscape.

Free Land

Production: An MJM production. Produced, directed, written, edited by Minda Martin.

Crew: Camera (color, B&W, DV, 16mm, Super 8), Martin; music, Dave Hurley, Kristofer Towne, Mike Hams. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Film Festival (section), April 13, 2011. Running time: 63 MIN.

With: With: Minda Martin, Robert E. Martin, Joan Westmoreland, Jared Baker, Judy Bauerlein, Leland Miller, Mary Dee Hammann. Narrator: Minda Martin. By ROBERT KOEHLER

More Film

  • Promise at Dawn Calcoa

    Colcoa Keeps the French Flag Flying in L.A.

    Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of […]

  • tencent logo

    China's Tencent Boards Skydance's 'Terminator'

    Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of […]

  • Rakuten's Movie Investment Plans Take Off

    Rakuten’s Movie Plans Take Off with ‘Hurricane’ Starring Iwan Rheon, Milo Gibson (EXCLUSIVE)

    Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of […]

  • avengers infinity war

    CinemaCon: From MoviePass to Saudi Arabia, 5 Things to Look For

    Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of […]

  • Rampage

    Korea Box Office: ‘Rampage’ Remains on Top, Sewol Documentary Jumps to Second

    Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of […]

  • Trafalgar Releasing Beefs Up U.S. Presence

    Trafalgar Releasing Beefs Up U.S. Presence with Kymberli Frueh Hire (EXCLUSIVE)

    Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of […]

  • Amy Schumer'I Feel Pretty' film premiere,

    After 'I Feel Pretty' Disappoints, What Should Amy Schumer Do Next?

    Filmmaker Minda Martin explores her family’s painful and poverty-stricken past in her powerfully realized memoir film, “Free Land.” Martin’s adventurous manipulation of complex sound work, solarized images, superimpositions and archival selections sets her work apart from other docs on the Native American experience; as terrible as her family history becomes, affected by a legacy of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content