Maɬni: Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore

Year: 2020
Country: USA
Director: Sky Hopinka
Genre: documentary
Runtime: 81 min.
Age: 16+

A documentary journey accompanied by the music of the waves, the music of the wind, and the stories of Chinookan people

Chinookan people are Native Americans who live in the Pacific Northwest. Today, they number a little over a thousand, but the Chinook Wawa language is still alive and is used by the main male character in the film, Jordan Mercier, to share with the director the Chinookan origin-of-death myth, which features a wolf and a coyote, and also to tell personal and everyday stories. The main female character, Sweetwater Sahme, speaks English but her words are subtitled in Chinook Wawa. There is no dominating language in the film. We see journeys on foot and by transport; forests, waterfalls, the ocean; national holidays; everyday life and the integral link with nature; and the mystical, spiritual dimension.
Sky Hopinka is an experimental director, the spiritual student of James Benning, and a Native American from the Luiseño people. For him, the culture and languages of Native Americans is a subject of both research and inspiration. Małni, Hopinka’s first feature, is a mix of personal chronicle, road movie, and meditation. This poetic documentary captures the vacillating boundary between two worlds, something only true cinema can do.

Awards & Festivals:

Sundance Film Festival - World Premiere
Cinema Eye Honors Awards (USA), Nominee – Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival – Special Mention (Green Dox)
International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra Punto de Vista – participation
Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) – participation 
New Holland Island International Debut Film Festival (Saint Petersburg) – participation