THE SEVENTH FIRE
March 20, 2017, 7:00 P.M.
The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112, George Lucas Building lobby, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Outside the Box [Office], All Rites Reserved, and Film Movement, invite you and a guest to a special screening of
The Seventh Fire
Directed by Jack Pettibone Riccobono
Written by Jack Pettibone Riccobono and Shane Slattery-Quintanilla
Produced by Jack Pettibone Riccobono, Shane Slattery-Quintanilla,
Jihan Robinson, and Joey Carey
Followed by a Q&A with Jack Pettibone Riccobono
and Shane Slattery-Quintanilla
7:00 P.M. on Monday, March 20th, 2017
The Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre, SCA 112
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Executive Produced by Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman, Chris Eyre, and Stefan Nowicki.
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPs REQUIRED.
Official Selection - Berlin Film Festival
2016 New York Times Critics’ Pick
About The Seventh Fire
When gang leader Rob Brown is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved American Indian community in northern Minnesota. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the reservation.
Executive Producers Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman and Chris Eyre present this haunting and unflinching debut film directed by Jack Riccobono.
Provided courtesy of All Rites Reserved and Film Movement. Not rated. Running time: 76 minutes.
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500 years before the coming of the white man to America, the Ojibwe Tribe, or Anishinaabe as they call themselves, received a prophecy that told them to leave their land of plenty in the Northeast and journey west to a place where food grows on the water. If they did not, they would be wiped out as a people.
This migration story is a part of The Seven Fires Prophecy, and it was told to me by an Ojibwe elder on my first visit to the White Earth Reservation in 2006. Many Ojibwe did travel west and settled throughout the northern middle states in the lake region where wild rice (manoomin) grows on the surface of the water. My short film The Sacred Food (Berlinale, 2007) told this part of the tribe’s oral history and explored the contemporary efforts to keep the wild rice protected from genetic modification.
Two years after making The Sacred Food, I read about the rise of violent Native American gangs and the migration of hardcore prison and inner city gang culture to remote Indian reservations all across the United States and Canada. I decided to take a research trip in October 2010 back to the White Earth Reservation and see if gangs had arrived in the Ojibwe community. I visited a tribal college class and showed The Sacred Food; one of the students in the class that day was Rob Brown, who would become the main subject of The Seventh Fire.
Rob is an incredibly complex and unique individual who has the ability to deeply reflect on his situation and his choices while still being trapped in cycles of personal neglect, historical trauma, and public policy failure. I met many gang members throughout the course of production and most were emotionally cut-off. At first glance, Rob could easily be dismissed as a drug dealer, convicted felon, and gang member with a long criminal record.
But Rob is also a self-taught poet and writer who has found an emotional outlet in his creative writing endeavors – his storytelling has become his survival technique. He has a deep connection to Ojibwe culture, language, and heritage. His Indian name is Two Thunderbirds and he knows the power and responsibility of that name. His personal struggle speaks to a larger identity crisis affecting many young Native Americans who are unrooted and living on the fringe – not just of American society but also on the fringe of Native American society.
One year into filming with Rob, I met Kevin, a seventeen-year-old kid who looked up to Rob as a mentor and larger-than-life gang leader. Kevin had dreams of gangster grandeur but had yet to go to prison and was also being pulled in two directions. He had a new opportunity to go to New Mexico and reconnect with traditional ways, but he was also starting down the same path as Rob, at an earlier point in the same cycle.
The Seven Fires Prophecy speaks of a time when, after a long period of cultural destruction, the youngest generation of Ojibwe will return to traditional ways and lead a rebirth of their nation. Many Ojibwe believe that now is the time of The Seventh Fire. The film takes its title from this prophecy.
In America and much of the world, there is a blind spot about the history of Native Americans and the injustices that this community continues to suffer to this day. It is rare to see any contemporary images of Native American life in the mainstream media or to see past the harsh statistics that tell only part of the story. My goal was to craft an immersive, character-driven work of cinema that would reveal the stories of Rob and Kevin with intimacy, empathy, and urgency, and place their personal journeys in the larger context of an unjust history that America has yet to reckon with.
-- Jack Pettibone Riccobono
About the Guests
JACK PETTIBONE RICCOBONO (Director, Producer, Writer, DP)
Jack Pettibone Riccobono has produced and directed a wide range of work across the five boroughs of his native New York City and around the world, from Moscow to Shanghai to Freetown. His narrative short Killer premiered at New Directors / New Films and won Best Short at the Nantucket Film Festival. His short documentary The Sacred Food, shot on the same reservation as The Seventh Fire, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. Jack received a Discovery Award from the Hollywood Film Festival for his directing work.
A graduate of Harvard’s VES Film Production Program and Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School, his films have been screened at festivals around the world and at venues including the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), DocumentaMadrid, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the American Indian, the American University in Rome, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2008, Jack launched the production company All Rites Reserved, dedicated to producing films with global reach that push visual and conceptual boundaries.
The Seventh Fire is his first feature documentary.
Shane Omar Slattery-Quintanilla (Producer, Writer, Co-DP)
Shane Omar Slattery-Quintanilla is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Film at Vassar College. He is writer, producer, and co-director of photography of The Seventh Fire, executive produced by Terrence Malick and Natalie Portman.
Professor Slattery-Quintanilla also wrote, co-produced, and edited The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández, a feature documentary about the killing of an 18-year-old American high-school student by U.S. Marines. The film, narrated by Tommy Lee Jones, was broadcast nationwide by PBS in 2008 and nominated for a 2009 Emmy Award in the category of "Outstanding Investigative Journalism." He received his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.F.A. from the University of Michigan.
About Outside the Box [Office]
Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.
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Check-In & Reservations
This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.
All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.
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