Paatuwaqatsi Water is Life

“Paatuwaqatsi/Water is Life” is a short film about the Hopi people’s ancient relationship with the Grand Canyon and Little Colorado River. Featuring the voices of running-activist, Bucky Preston, Black Mesa Trust CEO, Vernon Masayesva, and the musical advocacy of Ed Kabotie & Tha ‘Yoties, “Water is Life” challenges us to rethink our paradigm about the sacred gift of Water


Before founding David Wallace Visuals in 2021, I worked for 20 years as a staff photographer and video producer at newspapers throughout the country. 15 of those years were at the Arizona Republic where I

documented issues ranging from the U.S./ Mexico border to the environment. I covered Pope Francis’ inaugural visit to Mexico, disappearing glaciers in Peru, uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation, two Super Bowls, and directed a feature length documentary on child welfare issues. In 2018, I was one of the primary members of the Arizona Republic reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for their coverage of the U.S./ Mexico border. I am a nine time Rocky Mountain Emmy winner and have won numerous other awards in photo and video journalism. I received a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Director:

David Wallace

Producer:

Kelly Burke

Talent:

Ed Kabotie, Bucky Preston, Vernon Masayesva

Year Released:

2023

Country:

U.S.A.

Length:

00:11:03

Reviews:

Not only does Wallace highlight the ancient relationship between the Hopi people and the Grand
Canyon and Little Colorado River in this short film, but he also effectively provides a snapshot
into the lives of the Hopi people and how they keep their culture alive. Every voice in the film is
meant to showcase how there are different ways to uphold the cultural significance of the Hopi
people, whether it is through the ancient tradition of running or utilizing contemporary music to
speak of the Hopi's history with the land. Wallace beautifully captures the connection between
the Hopi people and the land they are connected to through landscape shots and video portraits of
the people celebrating their culture. The short film overall is very eye-opening, reminding the
audience that conversations surrounding water conservation often exclude the ingenious people
of the land. This needs to be addressed moving forward.

Shayna Freedman

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