This illuminating essay uses film scenes to tell of the forced cultural appropriation of a world-famous landscape.
Monument Valley is one of the most recognizable landscapes in the world. Its iconographic use in American Westerns has had a lasting influence on stock photography, advertising, and tourism. The valley has been given mythical significance as an image of a “primitive West” firmly in the hands of white people and meant to be protected from intruders. The fact that Monument Valley is traditional Navajo territory has been obscured in the process.
Meet the director
Alexandre O. Philippe
Alexandre O. Philippe, frequently welcomed to FILMFEST MÜNCHEN since 2010, holds a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has written and directed various award-winning documentaries, many of which are dedicated to the most influential works of master filmmakers. Recent works include 78/52 (Sundance and FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2017), MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN (Sundance and FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2019), and LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST (Venice 2019 and Sundance 2020).