maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore

Sky Hopinka
,
US
,
2020
,
HD
,
80'

maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore - Hopinka

In keeping with its title, maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore is constantly moving from the small-scale to the vast. The backbone of this first feature-length work by Sky Hopinka, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, are the conversations he conducts with two of his friends, Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier, who live in the Pacific Northwest of the US. She visits a waterfall and later sits at home, talking in English of the child she will soon bear and of the death of her grandmother; he drives through the landscape and walks through the forest, talking in Chinook Wawa of ghosts and growing his hair. Hopinka’s own Chinook Wawa voiceover is ever on hand to augment and extrapolate from their accounts, broadening the focus to creation myths and legends of the afterlife. The camerawork and the soundtrack take a similar tack, ever straying from the main flow to take in canoe rides, ravishingly slowed down ceremonies, meteorites, natural textures, and tall cliffs bisected by sunlight, listening out for drum rhythms, rushing waves, and trickling streams that intermingle with the great washes of music, as sound and image keep separating and reuniting with graceful fluidity. Like in these traditions, like in this film, let the current take you. (James Lattimer, Viennale)

 

English & Chinook Wawa spoken, English subtitles