Native Americans traditionally view the earth and its creatures as sacred, and the new film is appropriately reverential and a sacred gift in itself -- building on the educational ground the Rundles plowed in their "Lost Nation: The Ioway" films."
Movie review by Jonathan Turner
Entertainment Editor - Moline Dispatch
Our national leaders might learn some valuable lessons from the new documentary "Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City" from Moline-based Fourth Wall Films, which explores the importance and influence of Native American tribes four centuries ago.
The gentle, insightful 20-minute film premiered May 19 as a permanent fixture at the new Good Earth at Blood Run State Park Visitor Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
"Good Earth" will have its big-screen premiere during National Native American Heritage Month at the Putnam Museum’s National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. Tickets are $8.50, and they're available at putnam.org.
The family-friendly program will include the movie; a "making-of" feature; and a question-and-answer session with Native American tribal dignitaries, including Lance Foster, Ioway tribal Historic Preservation Officer/artist/scholar from the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and Omaha tribal elder Calvin Harlan of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. Members of the cast and crew also will take part in the panel discussion.
The Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle successfully competed with 32 other production companies nationwide in March 2016 to produce the documentary for a state-of-the-art 40-seat theater in South Dakota’s newest state park.
The Rundles engaged the services of Quad-Cities and Iowa residents to complete the project, which was filmed at Good Earth/Blood Run sites in Sioux Falls and Lyon County, Iowa, plus Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa; Port Byron; and other sites in Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
"Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City" presents the story of the historical and cultural site as told by a fictional Native American grandfather to his grandchildren. The documentary lovingly combines present-day views of the park's scenic vistas and wildlife with dramatic historical re-enactments portraying daily life in the year 1650, in what was then one of the land's largest cities.
The film features commentary from tribal elders and representatives, and an archaeologist, Des Moines-based Dale Henning, who says the area is the most important and interesting site he's ever worked on.
As in their 11 other documentaries, the Rundles treat their subjects with quiet simplicity and respect, reveling in the glories of nature, wildlife and the intimately human characters.
Read the rest of Jonathan Turner's Review HERE!