Broken Rainbow | Chicago Reader

Broken Rainbow

Winner of the 1985 Academy Award for best documentary feature, this 70-minute film by Maria Florio and Victoria Mudd tells the story, though none too clearly, of a government program forcing 12,000 Navajo Indians to leave their homeland in Arizona. The filmmakers suggest the existence of a plot among the neighboring Hopi, a mining corporation, and Arizona politicians to deprive the Navajo of the mineral rights that should belong to them, though the filmmakers are less interested in facts than in the tearful, weather-beaten faces of elderly Indian women. No doubt there's something fishy going on, but the eagerness of Florio and Mudd to make their point entirely through emotional manipulation casts a haze of suspicion over the entire project. Narrated by Martin Sheen and Burgess Meredith, with music by Laura Nyro.

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