Synopsis

Documentary Short (2010) - Directed by Chris Newman

In 2005, D-Q University, California’s only tribal college, was shut down after a 35-year struggle. Since then, the school’s board of trustees, past students, and community members have tried to reopen the school against all odds. Finding D-QU looks at the often-conflictive relationship between the board and the property’s illegal occupants. This current struggle frames the history of the school, beginning with its establishment in the midst of 1960s civil rights activism and outlines its original vision as a space for self-determined higher education. The film provides a lens in which we can critically examine the wider American Indian movement toward self-determination and sovereignty in its historical context and as it exists today.

Reviews

"Finding D-QU speaks powerfully and visually to a dream that has been persistently deferred--self-determined higher education by and for Native Americans."
- Renee Tajima-Peña, Oscar Nominated Filmmaker

"With a poetic eye, Newman chronicles the history and dissolution of D-Q University, a bold experiment in pan-tribal education. In addition to interviewing today's student leaders, Alcatraz veterans, and tribal board members, Newman has researched archival footage to show poignantly what's been lost. His elegy for a dream, FINDING D-QU is a testament to solidarity and the quest for Native learning, culture, and dignity."
- B. Ruby Rich, Film Critic

"This short film raises some complex questions about D-Q University...one of the untold stories of tribal education and occupation...finally revealed in the short but meaningful film "Finding D-QU."
- Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

Screenings (2010)

Slamdance Film Festival, Park City, Utah, World Premiere
Davis Film Festival, Davis, California
Sacramento International Film Festival, Sacramento, California
Humboldt Film Festival, Humboldt, California (Documentary Finalist)
Santa Cruz Film Festival, Santa Cruz, California
Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, Austin, Texas
DocMiami International Film Festival, Miami, Florida (Nominated: Best Doc Short 2010)
San Francisco Frozen Film Festival, San Francisco, California
American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco, California
Society for Visual Anthropology Film, Video and Interactive Media Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana

Distributed by Third World Newsreel

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