CONTRARY WARRIOR: THE LIFE & TIMES OF ADAM FORTUNATE EAGLE

82-Minutes    Black & White & Color   WideScreen

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WINNER

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD

CINE LAS AMERICAS INT’L FILM FESTIVAL. Austin


WINNER

PLATINUM REEL AWARD

NEVADA INT’L FILM FESTIVAL


OFFICIAL SELECTION

SANTA BARBARA INT’L FILM FESTIVAL

AMERICAN INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL, SAN FRANCISCO

BIG WATER FILM FESTIVAL

PETALUMA INT’L FILM FESTIVAL

WINNIPEG ABORIGINAL FILM FESTIVAL

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/194561808" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/194561808">CONTRARY WARRIOR TRAILER</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user8800568">JOHN FERRY</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

“I have watched twice and will watch it again - it is that compelling a story.  He (Fortunate Eagle) speaks with great humor, truth and passion.  I believe this movie will be enjoyed by Indians and non-Indians alike and suspect many Indian people will be able to relate to his story.”

       -Bob Brown, Whispering Wind Magazine

Adam Fortunate Eagle Nordwall was born on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, his mother was Chippewa and his father a Swede. At the age of five, his father dead and his mother unable to provide for eight children, Adam and his siblings are sent to an Indian boarding school where he spends his childhood. His story is different from most who have spent time in Indian boarding schools. He considers those ten years a positive experience and a way, during the depression, of avoiding the overwhelming poverty, hunger and disease of living on a reservation. There he also learns many skills and disciplines that serve him well later in life.

At Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas he meets his future wife, Bobbie, and both move to Oklahoma City where he and Bobbie get married. They work at several odd jobs and eventually move to San Francisco where he becomes a successful businessman and the “perfect” urban Indian - a poster child for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Prejudices toward Indians in the Bay area motivates him to become an advocate for the rights of urban Indians. And thus begins his activism, which eventually leads to the Indian takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969. Adam is one of the principal organizers and one of the main figures in negotiating with federal officials who are sent almost daily by President Nixon. After nineteen months Nixon signs ––papers repudiating the Indian Termination Act declaring it no longer valid. A series of reforms are implemented in urban areas and on reservations with improved health and welfare programs for American Indians.

But because of his activism, the government considers him an “enemy of the State,” and he loses his business and virtually everything he owns. Forced to move to the Paiute-Shoshone Reservation where his wife was born, he turns this negative experience into a positive one by honing his skills as a ceremonial pipe maker, sculptor, and author and continues his calling as a ceremonial leader and statesman for his people.  In 2012 he was awarded the American Indian Youth Literature Award by the American Library Association for his book Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School.  

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With Pope Paul IV at The Vatican