FILM: The Water is So Clear that a Blind Man Could See

Saturday, August 13, 2016 3:00 pm

Harwood Museum of Art, Arthur Bell Auditorium

Free with Admission

This 30-minute documentary about Taos Pueblo and Blue Lake was filmed in 1969 and aired on national TV by the National Educational Television Network (pre-PBS) just a few weeks before Taos Pueblo won a 65 year battle to have 48,000 acres of their tribal lands, including their sacred Blue Lake, returned to them. The film was part of a pioneering documentary TV series titled Our Vanishing Wilderness—the first such series to address pressing environmental issues. The series was based on a book by husband and wife team Shelly Grossman, a nature photographer, and Mary Louise Grossman, a nature writer. Time magazine noted it as the most worthwhile exposé on the environment in 1971.

This screening will also include a 12 minute movie  made by Chauncey Hamlin on a pack trip to Blue Lake in July 1928 with Tony Lujan, with other members of Taos Pueblo. This movie includes scenes of his family and other guests at the Lujans’ compound, including a brief view of Mabel in the courtyard of Los Gallos. Most of the footage is of a pack trip to Blue Lake led by Tony Lujan, Antonio and James Mirabal, and two other friends of Tony’s from the pueblo. They were accompanied by Chauncey and his wife, Emily Gray Hamlin, and their daughters Martha and Mary. John Collier and his family were visiting at the same time and brought Chauncey with him to a council meeting about land issues at Taos Pueblo. Hamlin agreed to go to Washington, D.C. to try to lobby for a bill on behalf of the pueblo. Because of this, the governor sent his chief assistant with them to Blue Lake.