You are here8pm November 17th, 2011
8pm November 17th, 2011
THE DOME OF HEAVEN (Starring Wes Studi, Noah Watts and Thirza Defoe) is a contemporary drama set in Vici, Oklahoma. Flutie Moses, a mixed-blood Cherokee girl wants to go to college despite the poverty of her family, and low self-esteem. Flutie’s father and brother run Hampton’s Garage, repairing and customizing old cars. Flutie has trouble standing on her own in her volatile and overbearing family. She eventually finds her voice through circumstances and an act of will. The film is about the struggles for self-reliance, the acceptance of limitations, and the significance of a small voice.
The story is influenced by the myth of Philomela. Raped by her brother-in-law, he cut out her tongue so she couldn’t tell her sister, who was his wife. But Philomela wove a tapestry and sent it to her sister. Her sister, furious, killed their son, cut him into pieces, and fed him to her husband. When he came after them, Philomela and her sister turned into a nightingale and a swallow and flew away. The rape is not the issue in this story, but the inability to speak. As Flutie faces the silence of the land and the turmoil of her family, she feels she also is without a tongue. Her brother, Franklin, meanwhile, steals auto parts from his father, then sells his father’s own parts back to him, eventually spending several weeks in the Taloga jail. Later, when Franklin accidentally shoots himself, Flutie realizes it was Franklin who did not have a tongue, or a way to express his frustration.
The film is a slow journey into the loss of identity in native history, and the separation of the family from themselves.
Q&A with filmmaker and reception to follow.