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

  • Moviepass

    AMC Unveils Answer to MoviePass: $20 Subscription Plan

    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 […]

  • Italian Filmmaker Paolo Genovese Arrives at

    'Perfect Strangers' Director Paolo Genovese Set for U.S. Debut (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 […]

  • 'Shelved' Launches China-New Zealand Production Alliance

    Andrew Adamson's 'Shelved' Launches China-New Zealand Production Alliance (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 […]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis to Direct Adaptation of Roald Dahl's 'The Witches' (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 […]

  • Morgan Neville

    Director Morgan Neville on the Mr. Rogers Movie That Will Make You Cry

    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 […]

  • 'Uncle Drew' Review: Kyrie Irving Takes

    Film Review: 'Uncle Drew'

    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 […]

  • Owen (CHRIS PRATT) and Blue face

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' to Devour $130 Million in Debut

    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