Ben Conway of LBB speaks to Academy Award-nominated and Sundance-winning filmmaker Jessica Sanders about her visual poem “Remember.” Created as part of the non-profit Sun Valley Writers’ Conference 2021 programming, and inspired by the first Native American U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo’s poem “Remember,” the film acts as a visual representation of Sanders’ connection of the words, spoken in the piece by the poet herself.
As part of this year’s programming, Sun Valley Writers’ Conference tasked poet Naomi Shihab Nye with curating a three-poem selection as the inspiration behind a series of “poem films” to be directed by notable filmmakers from around the country.
Harjo’s poem “Remember” stems from native philosophies. She is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, and calls on themes of family, interconnectedness and relationships to the natural world which were all inspirations for Sanders’ film.
Featured in the film is Navajo contemporary artist Tony Abeyta, and Navajo friends Owee Rae and her son Kier, and Crickett Tiger and Santiago Romero. Tapping into the theme of interconnectedness, Sanders also included three generations of her own family, whose origins are from China, Turkey, Spain, and Germany.