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This first feature by Sky Hopinka unfolds across verdant Pacific Northwest landscapes and through the bonds of longtime friendships. Meanderings along the Columbia River Basin’s forest paths and ocean shores with Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier provide a poetic framework for interlocking narratives. Reflections on birth, loss, family, and time gone by among these close friends are interwoven with the Chinookan myth of death’s origin in an exchange between Wolf and Coyote about the afterlife. The film is spoken mostly in Chinook Wawa, the language indigenous to the region—once nearly extinct, and the subject of Hopinka’s early short films—in a caring portrait of contemporary Indigenous rituals and traditions.
Restrained, contemplative, and filled with rapturous moments of beauty, małni—towards the ocean, towards the shore is presented in conjunction with the installation of I’ll Remember You as You Were, not as What You’ll Become (2016), Hopinka’s filmic elegy for poet Diane Burns, in MoMA’s second-floor contemporary galleries. Each work presents an entrancing meditation on remembrance and reincarnation.
Organized by Sophie Cavoulacos, Associate Curator, Department of Film.