University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The Prophecy


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Film Description:The Prophecy poetically recounts the Prophecy of the Fourth Crow, which is understood to parallel the history of Pennsylvanias hidden Lenape people. The film opens with the beat of a drum, the heartbeat of a Nation, as the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvanias flag dances on the wind. As the Prophecy unfolds, spoken first in Lenape and then in English, impressionistic images of earth, water, fire and air suggest a dream-like state and recall the Lenapes close connection to the land and all of its creatures. A male figure in a red ribbon shirt and a female spirit figure serve as guides through the emotional landscape that connects the Lenape people to their lost land and hidden heritage. A montage of faces provokes a series of questions: How can a people emerge from decades in hiding? How do we determine identity? What is heritage? Perhaps best compared to Latin American literary testimonios of the 1970s, the film exists in a liminal space between truth and fiction. Unlike many documentaries, it does not provide a litany of facts, but rather seeks to express the emotional presence of a community in the form of a prophetic poem. Tinged with both sorrow and the hope, The Prophecy pays tribute to the past and looks forward to a more hopeful future.

Shot over a period of five months, "The Prophecy" emerges from the warmth, kindness, and graciousness shown to the filmmakers by the members of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania. For that, and for their friendship, the filmmakers wish to express their gratitude.
Video Category:Educational
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