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Film Night at the Pickford Theater: Thursday, November 7, 2019

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Each year, the Librarian of Congress selects 25 films of enduring importance to American culture for inclusion in the National Film Registry. The selection takes into account thousands of titles nominated annually by the public, as well as recommendations of the National Film Preservation Board and the Library’s film curators. Once a film is inducted into the Registry, the Library determines if it has already been preserved, and, if not, seeks to ensure that it eventually will be preserved by the institution or individual holding the best master material. In anticipation of next month’s announcement of a new batch of inductees, the Pickford Theater will screen two films (see also Nov. 21) already on the Registry as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” works.

Thursday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m.

SMOKE SIGNALS (ShadowCatcher Entertainment / Miramax, 1998). Directed by Chris Eyre. Written by Sherman Alexie, based on his short story collection “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” With Adam Beach, Evans Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer, Tantoo Cardinal, Cody Lightning, Simon Baker. (89 min, color, 35mm).

Poster for “Smoke Signals” (ShadowCatcher Entertainment / Miramax, 1998). Image courtesy of Etsy.

A 2018 addition to the National Film Registry, “Smoke Signals” is considered to be the first feature-length film directed, written and produced by Native Americans. A hit on the independent circuit upon its release and winner of multiple awards (incl. the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival), the film uses the road movie format to create a humorous and unpretentious portrait of contemporary Native American culture while also providing wry observations about the injustices of the past. A groundbreaking work, the debut feature of then 28-year-old Cheyenne-Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre needed, in the words of Janet Maslin “no dispensation for novelty” – it stood “beautifully on its own merits.” Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on our programs, please visit the Mary Pickford Theater website.

The Mary Pickford Theater is located on the 3rd floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, DC, 20540.


  1. I love this Film!
    I was fortunate to see the DC Premire at the old AFI Theater.
    Filmaker was there. Lots! Of Native Americans
    It is just full of N.American Humor and serious stuff Too!
    If you want to see life on the “Res” from the residents perspective you need to see this.
    I did have a VHS of this. But may be gone.
    Hoping that it made it onto DVD. Or still available.
    So glad it is on the registry !

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