Illustration of N. Scott Momaday with the face of a bear in the background and the Sundance FIlm Festival laurels on the top left

N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

Up until the late sixties, an Indigenous writer had yet to win a major literary award within the US. That all changed when Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday received the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his debut novel House Made of Dawn. That recognition helped launch the “Native American Renaissance,” a nationwide emergence of art and literature in a wide variety of forms, and solidified Momaday as one of the most celebrated Native American storytellers. Momaday himself is also a poet and playwright, as well as a short story writer, a breadth of skill and experience charismatically captured in Jeffrey Palmer’s distinctive documentary debut. Words from a Bear reveals the inspiring beauty of Momaday’s work while also guiding audiences through the grave historical struggles that Native American communities have faced. The result is a profound celebration of not only Momaday’s writing and history but also the art of storytelling itself.

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