Still from The Violence of a Civilization without Secrets
Still from The Violence of a Civilization without Secrets
 

The Violence of a Civilization Without Secrets

by Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil & Jackson Polys
An urgent reflection on indigenous sovereignty, the undead violence of museum archives, and post-mortem justice through the case of the “Kennewick Man”.
2017  ·  10m  ·  United States
English
About the Film
Filmmakers Adam and Zack Khalil (Ojibway), in collaboration with artist Jackson Polys, investigate the recent court case that decided the fate of the remains of a prehistoric Paleoamerican man found in Kennewick, Washington State in 1996. The case pitted the Umatilla people and other tribes, who wanted to provide a burial to the  “Ancient One,” against two scientists—one of which from the publicly-funded Smithsonian Institute—who wanted to study the “Kennewick Man”. In order for the claim to fall under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) it became necessary to establish the lineage of these remains. This fight unleashed a controversy with groups attempting to establish white ancestry, and with this seeking to altogether undermine the indigenous sovereignty over land and ancestors and annul centuries of colonial violence. The evolving science of DNA and cranial morphology was grotesquely called in to testify to the purity of the bones’ ethnicity, where native claims to embodied knowledge of its origin had little means of addressing the court. Despite all of this, the Umatilla people and other tribes ultimately repatriated the “Ancient One” and he was reburied earlier this year in 2017.
Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Editor
Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil
Cinematographer
Samuli Haavisto
Producer
Pedro Neves Marques, Mariana Silva and Steve Holmgren
About the Director

Adam Khalil

Adam Khalil (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist who lives and works in Brooklyn. His practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Khalil’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center, Lincoln Center, and Whitney Museum of American Art, among other institutions. Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including but not limited to: Sundance Art of Nonfiction, Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Opportunity Fellowship, UnionDocs Collaborative Fellowship, and Gates Millennium Scholarship. Khalil received his BA from Bard College.

 

Zack Khalil

Zack Khalil (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His work often explores an indigenous worldview and undermines traditional forms of historical authority through the excavation of alternative histories and the use of innovative documentary forms. He recently completed a B.A. at Bard College in the Film and Electronic Arts Department, and is a UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar.

 

Jackson Polys

 

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