The Taking

Regular $15/ $11 Matinee
Member $11/ $6 Matinee

Genre

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Release Year

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Director

Alexandre O. Philippe

Cast

Jennifer Nez Denetdale, Liza Black, Sir Christopher Frayling, Robert M. Bednar, John Bucher

Country

USA

Runtime

76 min

Accessibility

Limited Mobility Access

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This illuminating essay uses film scenes to tell of the forced cultural appropriation of a world-famous landscape.

Monument Valley is one of the most recognizable landscapes in the world. Its iconographic use in American Westerns has had a lasting influence on stock photography, advertising, and tourism. The valley has been given mythical significance as an image of a “primitive West” firmly in the hands of white people and meant to be protected from intruders. The fact that Monument Valley is traditional Navajo territory has been obscured in the process.

A radical examination of Monument Valley’s representation in cinema and advertising since John Ford’s STAGECOACH (1939), THE TAKING scrutinizes how a site located on sovereign Navajo land came to embody the fantasy of the “Old West,” replete with self-perpetuating falsehoods, and why it continues to hold mythic significance in the global psyche.

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