Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
MOINES) – A forgotten tale of American conquest and Native survival will come to light when the documentary film, “Lost Nation: The Ioway,” makes its western Iowa premiere at the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs.
From the creators of the award-winning documentary “Villisca: Living with a Mystery,” “Lost Nation” explores the dramatic saga of The Ioway from their ancestors – known as the Oneota – to their present day locations in Kansas and Oklahoma.
The movie will be shown at 2 p.m. Nov. 18, 2007 at the Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs. A questions and answers session with the filmmakers and film participants will follow the one-hour film. Tickets are $8 per person and include a display of historical artifacts, tipi, buffalo hides and more will be included. Seating is limited and advance tickets are highly recommended. Call 712-366-4900 for ticket information. The movie and program are presented in partnership with the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County.
“Lost Nation” drew more than 2,000 people in two weeks of screenings and attracted a near-capacity crowd at the IMAX Theater in Davenport, Iowa. The documentary will be featured at the Beloit International Film Festival in January 2008 – one of four film festivals in the country hailed by The New York Times as an alternative to Sundance.
Quad City Times film critic Linda Cook gave “Lost Nation” four out of four stars said, “A fantastic documentary...You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy this film.”
“Lost Nation” made its world premiere Oct. 11, 2007 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. More than 200 Ioway tribal members attended the event and received a proclamation declaring Oct. 7-13 “Native Ioway History Week.” Ioway members toured the State Capitol and visited Gov. Chet Culver’s office.
“Lost Nation” tells the dramatic true story of two brothers’ struggle to save their people from inevitable American conquest, and the Ioway’s current fight to reclaim and maintain their unique history and culture.
Between 1676 and 1802, the Ioway were caught between warring European superpowers culminating in the Louisiana Purchase. The film explores day-to-day activities including farming, hunting, and family and tribal customs, as well as United States Indian policy and its effects.
In 1824, two Ioway brothers traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, William Clark. The brothers signed a treaty ceding a large portion of tribal land for settlement. One brother, White Cloud, sees cooperation as the only way for his people to survive while his brother, Great Walker, regrets the loss of land where his ancestors are buried.
As more territory is lost, the Ioway people become divided – some regard one brother as a traitor and the other as a patriot. After the tribe is removed from its land, the 36 million acres it called home is named “Iowa.” Then, the tribe is forgotten.
Kelly and Tammy Rundle, the award-winning and critically-acclaimed filmmakers behind “Villisca,” began shooting “Lost Nation” in July 2005.
“We hope the film will help to restore this chapter of Iowa's rich heritage to public consciousness,” Producer Tammy Rundle said. “We can't change events from long ago, but we think viewers will relate to the courage and perseverance of the Ioway as they struggled with forces that changed their lives forever.”
The documentary brings together commentary from historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and Ioway Elders along with new footage of historic sites, historical photographs and documents, art from the Smithsonian Institute and other national museums, music, legends, dances, powwows and reenactments.
“I grew up with a strong interest in the stories and ways of indigenous people,” Director Kelly Rundle said. “Ioway history has been scattered to the four winds and this project provides an opportunity to draw key elements together in an accessible and interactive media project.”
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state's interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.
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