Feature length documentary, This May Be the Last Time from two OK filmmakers, Sterlin Harjo and Matt Leach seeks to reflect on the rich history, and meaning of Native American music. Shot and produced in Oklahoma, it trails the story of director Sterlin Harjo's grandfather's disappearance, and is a personal journey through the touching importance of Creek hymns.
It screened for the first time January 20th, at the 2014 Sundance FIlm Festival. A member of two Creek tribes in Oklahoma, this is Harjo's third time at Sundance. The two producers even did an interview with Adobe about their workflow throughout filming and post.
The film is backed by This Land Press subsidiary (wait for it...), This Land Films who has an interesting interview with Leach & Harjo here.
You can check out the official description and trailer below, but you'll have to wait until spring to see the whole film when it premiers on the Sundance Channel (it was recently acquired by AMC/Sundance Channel Global).
Director Sterlin Harjo heard a story hundreds of times growing up; the story of when his grandfather disappeared. Pete Harjo mysteriously went missing in 1962 after his car crashed on a rural bridge in Sasakwa, Oklahoma. The Seminole Indian community began a day and night search for his body. As they combed the riverbanks it is told that they sang songs of faith and hope that had been passed on for generations.
The same Muscogee (Creek) hymns that once rang out during the government removal of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears, continue to echo from the people during times of worship, joy, mourning, hope, tragedy. This May Be the Last Time illuminates the history of these powerful songs, in a fascinating study in ethnomusicology that traces all the way back to the Scottish Highlands from their continued significance to the Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole people today.
To keep up with This May be the Last Time, you can check out their website, or follow them on facebook