Artist Sky Hopinka joins us to present a special sneak preview of his soon-to-be-completed feature film małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore. This lyrical film guides viewers along parallel journeys with two protagonists, Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier, as they share thoughts on their own personal rituals and relationship with traditions, the spirit world and circularity.
The film is shaped by its poetic approach to framing, language and composition that Hopinka has developed through his acclaimed body of short films. Criss-crossing personal paths and bodies of water, it extends his look at positions on homeland, landscape, language and myth in a contemporary Indigenous world.
The film will be screened alongside Visions of an Island, which weaves together different glimpses of the landscape and community living in Aleutian and Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea: an Unangax̂ elder describes cliffs and summits, drifting birds and deserted shores; a group of students and teachers invent games that revitalise use of the Unangam Tunuu language; a visitor offers a quixotic chronicling of earthly and celestial terrain.
Visions of an Island [US] 2016, DCP, colour, sound, 15 min, English and Unangam Tunuu with English subtitles
małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore [US] 2020, DCP, colour, sound, approx. 82 min, English and Chinuk Wawa with English subtitles
Discussion with the artist and Tate Film curators
Sky Hopinka (b.1984, United States) is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. Working as a filmmaker, teacher, curator and artist, his practice explores the place of myth in a contemporary Indigenous world.