CORVALLIS, Ore. – Documentary filmmaker J. Carlos Peinado is coming to Oregon State University for a two-day event starting Wednesday, May 16.
Peinado will give a lecture at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, in OSU’s Gilfillan Auditorium. In addition, he will screen his new film, “Waterbuster,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, at the LaSells Stewart Center at OSU.
Both the lecture and the screening are free and open to the public.
Peinado is the producer, director, writer and editor of “Waterbuster,” which made its debut at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and since has received wide critical acclaim.
In the film, Peinado explores his ancestral homeland in North Dakota. Tracing the footsteps of his maternal grandmother back to the reservation, he encounters a multigenerational cast of characters. Through interviews, he begins to understand the resilient nature of his tribe, their contributions to American culture and history, and their deep attachment to their land.
He learns that the Garrison Dam reservoir — named Lake Sakagawea after the young woman who aided Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery — is drying up. Ultimately this story is a confrontation with identity, highlighting the universal struggle to find a sense of place, a community and a home.
Variety magazine called the film, “A lyrical, haunting account of loss of community and cultural identity... vividly reimagines the fabled towns and rich bottomland from which the North Dakota Indians were evicted by the damming of the Missouri River.”
Peinado is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota, also known as the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation.
He left the Fort Berthold Reservation in 1980 to attend Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and completed his undergraduate degree in filmmaking and cultural anthropology at Dartmouth College. In 1992, Peinado moved to New York City and pursued a career as a filmmaker and an actor. In 1995, he moved to Arizona, where he worked as a creative director for Native Peoples Magazine and at NDNS4Wellness, a nonprofit health center for Native American youth.
The event is part of the Native American Philosophies series, sponsored by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word; the Ethnic Studies Department; the Philosophy Department; the Native American Collaborative Institute; the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture; and the USDA Forest Service.
The film screening is sponsored by the Native American Collaborative Institute at OSU.