Collaborating with Communities: Filmmaker Leonard Kamerling

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A combination of computer issues and the holidays put Northern Soundings on hold for a while, but I think this episode is particularly timely. Sunday, in her Golden Globes award acceptance speech, actor Meryl Steep spoke about her art and industry. In part she said:

“You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press.”

Her words resonated with me, and I suspect with my guest today. Leonard Kamerling has crafted some of the most deeply penetrating documentary films about Alaska Native Culture. He is also Curator of Film for the University of Alaska Museum of the North, and a professor of English at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Perhaps his best known film The Drums of Winter is in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. However, he’s created other wonderful examinations of cultures and personalities.  Len’s most recent work, Changa Revisited looks at the life of a Masai tribesman over the course of 30 years. It recently garnered a win at an international film festival in Romania. I began our discussion by asking him about the film and the festival.

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