Fred Martinez was nádleehí, a male-bodied boy with a feminine nature, a special gift according to his Navajo culture. Martinez was brutally murdered at 16 in Cortez, Colorado in 2001. “Two Spirits” interweaves the tragic story of a mother’s loss of her son with a revealing look at the largely unknown history of a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female and many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders.
The Navajo believe that to maintain harmony, there must be a balanced interrelationship between the feminine and the masculine within the individual, in families, in the culture, and in the natural world. “Two Spirits” reveals how these beliefs are expressed in a natural range of gender diversity, and examines the Navajo concept of nádleehí, “one who constantly transforms,” and tells compelling stories about traditions that were once widespread among the indigenous cultures of North America. The film explores the contemporary lives and history of Native two-spirit people.
“Riveting.” ~ LA Weekly
“A gorgeous, moving, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting story, the kind of film that opens the mind and heart so wide they can never close as tightly again.” ~ Martha Beck, Oprah magazine columnist and bestselling author
“TWO SPIRITS is a beautiful film, one that poignantly conveys the pain that Paula Mitchell suffered when she lost her child to hate violence. Fred Martinez was murdered simply because he dared to be himself, and the violence against young people like him must stop. We will never be the society we hope to be until we replace hate with understanding, compassion, and acceptance. This very powerful film is an important step on that journey.” ~ Judy Shepard, President of The Matthew Shepard Foundation
“A rich and textured work that provides a focal point for many important conversations on campus. It’s very moving to see the reactions, and the appreciation of so many people who feel that a deep aspect of their reality has been acknowledged and valued.” ~ Ann Braude, Director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program and Senior Lecturer on American Religious History, Harvard Divinity School
“Two Spirits” is a production of Say Yes Quickly Productions, Henry Ansbacher, executive producer; Riding the Tiger Productions, Lydia Nibley, director, co-producer, and co-writer; and Just Media, Inc., Russell Martin, co-producer and co-writer — with Darrin Navarro, editor; David A. Armstrong, director of photography; and Ron Eng, supervising sound editor and sound designer.
TWO SPIRITS screenings:
Monday, June 27: INDEPENDENT LENS: TWO SPIRITS will be broadcast on PBS’ KCTS TV, Channel 9 (Seattle, WA) at 10 p.m..
Sunday, July 10: PFLAG-Olympia will show the film “Two Spirits” and have a discussion afterward. Due to the length of the film we will shorten the introductions, announcements and social time. Our meeting starts at 2 p.m., the film will be shown at approximately 2:45p.m.. Please join us!
Facebook: TWO SPIRITS: Sexuality, Gender, and the Murder of Fred Martinez
Additional Resources from the producers of the documentary TWO SPIRITS:
Independent Lens| TWO SPIRITS Discussion Guide:
http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/two-spirits/resources/two-spirits-discussion.pdf (pdf format)
Families United Against Hate: Fred C. Martinez Jr. ~ Cortez, CO