UCO Professor Presents Series of Films
Photo: Jeffrey Palmer (center) discusses his films to an audience in the Pegasus Theater on Saturday, March 7, 2015. On Nov. 17 Palmer screened five of his films to students and faculty once more in the Pegasus Theater. Photo from Vista archives.
On Nov. 17 in the Pegasus Theatre of the Liberal Arts building, students, faculty and supporters gathered to experience several works of film from documentary-maker and UCO instructor, Jeffrey Palmer.
The screening featured five of Palmer’s films and he said he was happy with how it went.
“I think it was really good. It’s always a different experience every time that I screen, so this one I feel like I got to talk about all the things I wanted to talk about in terms of documentary filmmaking,” Palmer said.
The films shown included: “Isabelle’s Garden,” “Grave Misgivings,” “I Am A Life,” “Honor Beats” and “N. Scott Momaday.”
“I think they’re the best expression of my work over a certain period of time. It was certainly something that would show progression from my early years all the way to the present,” Palmer said.
Palmer was chosen as a subject for the New Plains Review, a media outlet that supports Native American artists, writers and filmmakers.
According to the executive editor of the New Plains Review, Shay Rahm, the company strives to recognize successful members of the Native American community.
“We feel that is it important that we bring attention to any and all Native American students [and] scholars … I mean of any place in the whole world, Oklahoma should be the place we know the most about Native Americans,” Rahm said.
She also said they chose Palmer as a featured filmmaker because he represents what New Plains is all about.
“We are so fortunate that we were able to sort of merge our ideas of wanting to embrace and explore and expand Native American culture with someone we have here on campus, who does that every day across the world,” Rham said.
The event lasted about an hour as audiences saw various versions of Palmer’s films.
The first film featured was “Isabelle’s Garden,” which Palmer said is meant to show the difficulties Native Americans experience.
“‘Isabelle’s Garden’ is about a young girl living in poverty in southeastern Oklahoma and, through community involvement of her community garden, she creates this form of reciprocity,” Palmer said.
The second film portrayed Palmer’s interpretation of a young girl’s appreciation of the famous Native American figure Geronimo.
“‘Grave Misgivings’ is about Geronimo, so it’s almost like a memoir of him and it allows you to see who he is through the eyes of this artist who goes to his grave and paints him,” Palmer said.
According to Palmer, although the next film shown was brief, it conveyed a powerful message.
“‘I Am A Life’ is a public service announcement about sexual violence against indigenous women, which is four times as high as the rest of the population,” Palmer said.
The fourth film was also brief and did not feature any dialogue, but Palmer said it served its purpose.
“So, ‘Honor Beats’ is a cinema vertay (?) film of a powwow at the University of Iowa, and I am watching this drum group, which is the Neskawaky Drum Group. So, it’s kind of the perspective [of] those people that are performing and those that are watching as well,” Palmer said.
The last film shown was a brief excerpt from Palmer’s newest film about Pulitzer prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday. It is set to be released in 2018.