ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ We Will Speak Film Still 03

Thu, Jan 18, 2024,79 Point Park University's GRW Theatre
414 Wood St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Film Screening

ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak)

Join us at Point Park University's GRW Theater on Thursday, January 18th at 7:00pm for a screening and discussion ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak). The film is directed by ᎤᎶᎩᎳ / Schon Duncan & Michael McDermit, produced by ᎨᎳᏗ / Keli Gonzales & Laura Heberton, with cinematography and editing by Jacob Koestler. Following the screening, there will be a discussion/Q&A with the film team moderated by Silver Eye director Leo Hsu.

ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak) 2023, 95 min

The Cherokee language is deeply tied to Cherokee identity; yet generations of assimilation efforts by the U.S. government and anti-Indigenous stigmas have forced the Tri-Council of Cherokee tribes to declare a State of Emergency for the language in 2019. While there are 430,000 Cherokee citizens in the three federally recognized tribes, fewer than an estimated 2,000 fluent speakers remain—the majority of whom are elderly. The covid pandemic has unfortunately hastened the course. Language activists, artists, and the youth must now lead the charge of urgent radical revitalization efforts to help save the language from the brink of extinction.

This feature-length documentary was shot on-location in Oklahoma and North Carolina throughout 2019-2022; through intimate interviews, vérité footage of community gatherings, and extensive archival materials, the film explores the nuanced ways the Cherokee language is vital to maintaining a unique cultural identity and relationship with the world. The collaborative project is also meant to act as an empowering agent of hope for Indigenous voices despite enduring inequity and oppression.

Free and open to the public. Register here!