31st Annual Aim West International Film Festival
October 12, 2012
The 31st Annual American Indian Movement International Film Festival was held at the Brava Women’s Theater. The program began at 9am with a march to Brava Theater Center in solidarity for Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly Columbus Day) from Dolores Park with traditional dance, drumming and songs prior to the opening of the film screenings at 12 noon. The M.C. was nationally known AIM leader, Mr. Bill Means.
The films selected for this year’s festival exemplify the legacy and spiritual movement of resistance, and the fight for self-determination found among indigenous peoples throughout the globe. Held each year on Indigenous Peoples Day, the film festival offers an important educational alternative to the stories typically associated with the national celebration of Columbus Day in the USA, and what it means to Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas.
The films selected this year bring to light the scope and diversity of Indigenous peoples who claim their inherent rights throughout the world, documenting the strategies they are using, from armed resistance to the electoral process, to secure recognition of their rights, including treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements made between nation/states and Indigenous peoples. The AIM-WEST International Film Festival brings a new sense of urgency to these struggles, especially in light of the global challenges of climate change, migration, poverty and social justice. Through these films AIM-WEST seeks to demonstrate the common bond between all Indigenous peoples as they struggle for equal justice and freedom.
Screenings include two Burmese films that depict political prisoners held there (and ‘ethnic minorities’ aka Indigenous). One is about the multitude of prisoners held by the dictatorship, and another about the Nobel Peace Prize winner of 1991, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was recently released from 15 years under house arrest and just elected to the country’s Parliament and who's visit to San Francisco on September 29th offered a timely resonance for the city.