Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PBS’s Independent Lens Premiers Documentary on Two Spirits

6/14Event Starting Date: June 14, 2011 6:00 pm

Event Details: Independent Lens: Two Spirits June 14, 2011

Two Spirits interweaves the tragic story of a mother’s loss of her son with a revealing look at the largely unknown history of a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female and many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders. Powerful and moving, Lydia Nibley’s Two Spirits explores the life and death of Fred Martinez and the ancient Native American two-spirit tradition. Two Spirits will premiere on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by America Ferrera, on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 (check local listings).

Fred Martinez told his mother he felt as if he was both a boy and a girl, and she explained that this is a special gift, according to traditional Navajo culture. But the place where two discriminations meet is a dangerous place to live, and Fred became one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at sixteen. Between tradition and controversy, and freedom and fear, lies the truth—the bravest choice you can make is to be yourself.

Two Spirits explores issues of national concern including the bullying and violence commonly faced by LGBT people, and the epidemic of LGBT teen suicide, and reveals the range of gender expression that has long been seen as a healthy part of many of the indigenous cultures of North America, and of Navajo culture in particular.

To learn more about the film, and the issues involved, visit the companion website for Two Spirits at Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmaker, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources. The site also features a Talkback section where viewers can share their ideas and opinions.

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