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Children of the Dig at Anchorage International Film Festival

December 10, 2018


This Saturday, December 8th, it was time for the viewing of Children of the Dig at the Anchorage International Film Festival.

47573652_297775320866064_8164724493164478464_nHere’s Josh’s account of the viewing:

It’s always an honor to share the story of Quinhagak with new people. When people with no prior connection to Quinhagak gasp in awe of new masks being unearthed, laugh at Mike’s description of Rick as “…this Santa Claus looking guy.”, or nod in quiet acknowledgment of Jimmy’s Yupik prayer, you realize this is a story not just for Quinhagak, but for everyone.

48053109_10217095575236850_3601003535627452416_nWe conducted a Q&A after the screening, and it was an absolute blast. The crowd was fun and engaging, and one of my favorite moments was when people started adding in their own personal stories into the discussion, what they’d heard of the history of the region, such as the Bow & Arrow war. My daughter, Ellie, who joined me on stage, was in the unique position of offering a child’s perspective on the dig, since she visited with me last summer. People could see how much the dig changed her. How much it opened her eyes to this other world, and its importance. She told them about holding masks at the cultural center, riding four wheelers in the rain, and standing in the dig site (but not where the dog poop was). She was giddy with the kind of excitement usually reserved for kids at Disneyland. I think that is the magic of the Nunalleq dig. It doesn’t just excite people. It empowers people. Something buried in those muddy floors calls to people. Pride. Adventure. Mystery. Hope. I don’t know, but you can see it when people hear about it, and when children talk about it. And I think our audience felt that, too, because they were all asking how they could get there, too.

I told them to buy a ticket.

Joshua Branstetter

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