Colorado State University – Pueblo, Rawlings Library plan viewings of Two Spirits film
PUEBLO – An award-winning documentary that explores what it means to be poor, transgendered, and Navajo will shown on two dates in Pueblo next month as part of an international film festival tour.
Two Spirits, which premiered in Denver at the STARZ film festival in November, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13 in the Hasan School of Business Auditorium at Colorado State University-Pueblo and at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 16 at the InfoZone Museum at the Rawlings Library, 100 E. Abriendo Ave. The showings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will follow the films at each location at receptions with the film’s producers. The two events are sponsored by Posada, the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance, Office of Student Activities at CSU-Pueblo, Prizm, the Pueblo Library District, the Pueblo Human Relations Commission, and the Southern Colorado Aids Project.
Two Spirits chronicles the life and death of Fred Martinez and his enduring legacy – one that has led to renewed resolve by many people of the several cultures of the Four Corners region not only to accept diversity, but to honor it, and to help ensure that people are free to express the totality of who they are. The film illustrates in diverse ways the short life and legacy of a two-spirit boy who comfortably walked the paths of both the masculine and feminine. The narrative is grounded in the events foreshadowing the murder, the horrible reality of what happened on a night when one boy bludgeoned another with a large rock, then bragged to friends that he had "bug-smashed a fag," and the police work that brought the killer to justice. But the larger ambition of Two Spirits is to reach beyond an account of violence and hatred to explore issues of gender, sexuality, and spirituality in compelling ways.
The story of Two Spirits includes forays into the history of Native two-spirited people and the spectrum of gender expression and sexual identity that has long been seen as a healthy part of many of the indigenous cultures of North America, and of Navajo culture, in particular. The story occurs in the high-desert town of Cortez in situated in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest—the region surrounding the point where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet—a cuturally diverse place where a sometimes confrontational intersection of white, Hispanic, and Navajo and Ute cultures occurs.
The grave of Fred Martinez has been identified with a small metal marker that was intended to be temporary from the time he was buried in 2001. Fred's family has not been able to afford a headstone, but his brothers designed a modest monument they hoped could someday honor his memory and bring dignity to his final resting place, and the funding for the gravestone has been added to grant requests made by the Fred Martinez Project in order to fulfill this wish. When the gravestone is prepared, a ceremony honoring Fred will be held with family, friends, and the activists who assisted his family in attendance.
The U.S. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in Washington has joined the Fred Martinez Project as an outreach partner. The department will host screenings of Two Spirits around the country as a part of their ongoing national diversity programs.
The Pueblo showings are part of a film festival tour throughout the U.S. and internationally during 2010 and 2011. Following its film-festival tour and international television broadcast, educational sales and a consumer DVD of the film will be made available on this website, and through a network of outreach partner organizations. The Fred Martinez Project and the documentary film Two Spirits received the 2008 Monette-Horwitz Distinguished Achievement Award for outstanding activism, research, and scholarship to combat homophobia.
For more information, contact Sandy Daff with the Pueblo Human Relations Commission at 719-542-0112.