Carole Hart is completing a feature documentary entitled For the Next 7 Generations. The documentary tells the story of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers (shamans, medicine women, and healers) from all parts of the world who came together in 2004 to form a council: The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Since then, they have traveled together around the world —from Dharmasala, India, to the Amazon Rain forest, to mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, and more. Carole and her cameras have accompanied these women, documenting their travels, their prayers, and how they have touched and changed the lives of those around them.
Q. How did the International council of Grandmothers first start?
A. A spiritual teacher named Jyoti, who had been working for quite a while with people of indigenous backgrounds found herself holding a vision of a group of elder woman in a circle. She didn’t know what it meant, but when she was in Africa making the acquaintance of an Indigenous grandmother, Bernadette Ribienot, and she mentioned her vision. Bernadette said that she was having the same vision and that they needed to make it a reality. Their shared vision turned into a Gathering of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers from Africa, Asia, South, Central, and North America. At the end of the 10 days of that gathering they’d decided to become the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. Since then, they have been speaking in one united voice to share their ancient wisdom, their earth-based traditions, and to help us create a sustainable planet, so that it can sustain us.
Q. At what stage in the Council’s formation did you decide to make a documentary? How did this idea come about?
A. I’m a Filmmaker and I’ve had personal experience with Indigenous healing ways. I received a miraculous cure from a terminal cancer in 1994 through a Native American Church ceremony. After that I went through 3 years of Stargate, Jyoti’s mystery school, so I was there when the idea of this gathering came about. I saw what an historic event this was going to be and felt it needed to be documented on film. At the time we had no idea what would happen. I never envisioned that I would be spending the next four years of my life following them around the world with a camera and telling their story, but it’s been a privilege and an honor.
Q. Can you please explain the significance of the title, For the Next 7 Generations?
A. In Pre-Colonial days the native tribes of theIroquois confederation lived all around Northeastern United States. The constitution of the United States was based on many of the premises stated in the Iroquois constitution. But they left out the great law of the Iroquois confederacy, which states that “ In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next 7 generations.” We are feeling the effects of that omission very strongly today.
Q. How close are you to completing the film? When can we expect its release?
A. We have spent the last 4 years amassing over 600 hours of video from Upstate NY, New Mexico, a small village in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Brazilian Amazon, Dharmasala, India, and Pine Ridge, South Dakota. We’ve been editing the film for about 6 months. We’ve produced two trailers and a DVD of excerpts from the gathering in Dharmasala, that can be seen on our website and on YouTube. We’re almost finished with the second of the three acts of the movie, and hope to have the movie completed by the end of this year and released in early 2009.
Q. What impact do you hope 7 Generations will have?
A. I really believe in the power of film to transform the way people think and feel. We’ve been witnessing the effects of Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth. For the Next 7 Generations is its companion piece and its spiritual underpinnings.
The Grandmothers’ message is one of hope for the future. Their movie will help people experience a shift in consciousness that will lead to a new way for them to see their world and to be in it, a way simply stated, that will awaken their love for their Mother Earth, and all its inhabitants, us two-leggeds, our one leggeds, our four leggeds, Once their hearts are open, all else will flow. This love is the most powerful change agent in the world.
Q. What can we do to support the Grandmothers and the completion of this film?
A. When we are not shooting or editing the film, we are raising funds to pay for the work. At this point we need $100,000 more to complete the movie. The good news is that we’ve just been given a grant of $50,000, and the challenging news is that it’s a matching grant. This means that we can only keep as much of the $50,000 as we are able to match with other grants. So we are reaching out as broadly as we can to complete the funding. The most important way that you can support the film is to make a donation of any size because it all adds up. At this point in time you can be sure that you will have helped to bring this movie home.
“When we can heal ourselves, we also heal our ancestors, our grandmothers, our grandfathers and our children. When we heal ourselves, we heal Mother Earth.”- Rita Pitka Blumentstein, Yupik mother, grandmother, great grandmother
Tax-deductible contributions can be made by check or credit card. Checks should be made out to the Hartley Film Foundation, with “For the Next 7 Generations” marked on the check.
Mail to: Hartley Film Foundation, 49 Richmondville Ave, Suite 204, Westport, CT, 06880.
Toll free call: 800-937-1819
For more information, please visit www.forthenext7generations.com
To watch footage of the grandmothers, please visit www.youtube.com/carolehart
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