7:15 pm | 1 hr 6 min | Documentary | After the screening Q&A with filmmaker Gwendolen Cates

Just before The Good Mind movie begins, the Cloud Breaker Society, a group of drummers from various Native heritages, will perform two Native American songs. Led by Nick Miles, the Cloud Breakers are part of Association of Native Americans of the Mid-Hudson Valley, and have performed in this area since the 1970s.

Upstate Women in Film and Television and the Rosendale Theater are proud to present “The Good Mind,” a documentary film by Gwendolen Cates. This screening highlights a woman filmmaker who is taking on a major issue of our time, Native American sovereignty and water protection. The Onondaga Nation (Central Fire of the Haudenosanee Confederacy) never accepted U.S. citizenship, has its own passport, and still maintains a traditional government led by clan mothers and chiefs. Motivated by ancient prophecies, the Nation fights for environmental stewardship of ancestral land and waters taken by NY State in violation of a 1794 treaty with George Washington. In and of itself, “The Good Mind” is an award-winning and moving film, however, its in-depth look at Native American and water protection issues becomes vital viewing for anyone who wishes to understand the recent protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Audience members will have a unique opportunity to learn more about these issues during a Q&A with filmmaker Gwendolen Cates.

Gwendolen received an Instamatic camera for her 9th birthday and was hooked. Before venturing into film, she photographed countless public figures, from Rosa Parks to George Clooney. Her critically-acclaimed book “Indian Country” inspired Oprah to begin a series about Native Americans. Her first feature documentary “Water Flowing Together” about Jock Soto, a renowned Navajo-Puerto Rican principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, won several awards and was nationally broadcast on PBS Independent Lens. Her first collaboration with the Onondaga Nation was the award-winning short film “Guswenta,” about the first treaty between indigenous people and European settlers. Gwendolen is currently working on a film about the Yezidis and other indigenous minorities of Iraq now undergoing genocide, for which she has traveled frequently to Iraq and Syria. She lives in New York City.

THE GOOD MIND TRAILER from Gwendolen Cates on Vimeo.