Virginia Film Festival 2016
Kluge-Ruhe brought two films by Indigenous filmmakers to the 2016 Virginia Film Festival: an Aboriginal film about navigating the chasm between Western and Indigenous cultures, and an Inuit drama about adoption. Writer/Director Lori Stoll, Executive Producer Malaya Quarin-Chapman, and Producer Justin Ford came to promote film Heaven’s Floor, and community members Tommy May and Wes Maselli from Mangkaja Art Center came to promote their film Putuparri and the Rainmakers. Kluge-Ruhe also participated in Family Day by hosting “Joey Stories”, a program for toddlers that explored the wonderful uniqueness of the kangaroo.
Arctic Culture Form and Judith Burch
In Putuparri and the Rainmakers, Tom ‘Putuparri’ Lawford reflects on how he navigated the deep chasm between his Western upbringing and his traditional Aboriginal culture. He and his grandfather, Spider, go on a series of epic journeys to places in their family’s country, the most important of which is a sacred site called Kurtal. At this site, underground artisan water known as ‘jila’ or ‘living water’ comes to the surface, and it is where Putuparri’s people return when they die. Each trip marks a different stage in Putuparri’s passage from rebellious young man to inspirational cultural leader. Putuparri And The Rainmakers is a story of love, hope and the survival of Aboriginal law and culture against all odds.
Heaven’s Floor is about Julia, a Los Angeles photographer who journeys to the Canadian arctic. Her whimsical trip becomes a life threatening disaster. Abandoned, ill-equipped, and stranded on sea ice, she is rescued by Malaya, a young Inuit girl, and is taken to her small Inuit community. Stuck there waiting to return home, Julia discovers the dark truth of Malaya’s world and must decide whether or not to save Malaya from a childhood that closely resembles her own, despite the growing tension with her husband Ed and Malaya’s remaining connections to her home.