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Film festivals star native culture, ecology

"Baraka" which will show tonight as part of the Human Rights Film Festival at Gonzaga University. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

Native American life and political/ecological points of view will be at the heart of two film festivals scheduled for the coming week.

First up is the annual Human Rights Film Festival, an event sponsored by the Gonzaga University Law Amnesty International Chapter, which screens two films tonight: “Thirst,” a documentary about water privatization at 6 p.m. and “Baraka,” an environmental- themed film at 7 p.m.

Both films will be shown in the School of Law Moot Courtroom (328-4220), and a discussion will follow. Admission is free.

Down in Moscow, the American Indian Film Festival begins its four-day run on Wednesday at the University of Idaho Kenworthy Performing Arts Center with a 7 p.m. screening of the 28-minute short “With Hearts and Hands and Bells: The Story of the ‘Sisters’ Building on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation.”

Following the screening, Georgia Johnson, Michael Hayes and several of the film’s narrators will discuss the film with the audience.

The remainder of the schedule (all films begin at 7 p.m. and admission is free): Thursday, “American Indian Graffiti”; April 1, “Moccasin Flats,” “Chiefs” and “49?”; April 2, a night of experimental films by Mohawk filmmaker Shelly Niro, including “It Starts with a Whisper,” “Overweight with Crooked Teeth,” “Honey Moccasin” and “The Shirt.”

Panel discussions will follow each night’s screenings. For more information, call (208) 882-4127.

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