"Drunktown's Finest" promises realistic portrayal of Nadleeh


"Native American Transsexual Actress Stars in New Film" by Jasper Zweibel on the Huffington Post takes a look at an upcoming film, Drunktown's Finest.

Drunktown's Finest is a movie about finding hope in the bleakest of circumstances. Director Sydney Freeland grew up in the real Drunktown: Gallup, N.M. Or at least that's what ABC's 20/20, the cable newsmagazine that gave her hometown that dreadful moniker in 1990, would have her believe. Instead of resigning herself to a life of addiction, Sydney found a source of hope in her Navajo culture. She wrote Drunktown's Finest to share that hope with the world, and to show that the wisdom of Navajo tradition can be a powerful force for good in our modern society.

The film maker, Sydney Freeland, is Navaho and grew up on the reservation. She is publicizing her Kickstarter campaign for funds to finish the film. Freeland says, in her Kickstarter video,

What drove me to do this film was a desire to show the people and the experiences that I knew growing up on the reservatio. It's a unique insight into this community, because it's being told from the inside out.

One of the three main story lines in the film is that of Felixa, "a transgender Navajo woman who dreams of modeling in the big city. "

The external locus of her identity continues to cause problems, and when Felixia faces outright rejection at the hands of other aspiring models, she's left wondering whether or not to give up on her dream entirely. Even though men want her, the scorn of other women is almost too much to bear. Thankfully, her loving and supportive grandparents are there to remind her that she always has a home, and that the world needs the Nadleeh. Though Felixia has her gender identity challenged, she finds strength in her cultural identity.

It seems clear from these initial previews that Navaho culture and community challenges are central to the film.

Playing the role of Felixia is a real-life transgender Navajo woman, Carmen Moore, who says that just about everything that Felixia experiences in the film is something that she's gone through in her life. There is no glamorization in Drunktown's Finest, and the emotion is raw. It's a film that deals with real issues that the LGBT community faces on a daily basis, but from the unique perspective of a Native American trans woman.

See the full article on the Huffington Post: "Native American Transsexual Actress Stars in New Film" by Jasper Zweibel 

Find the Kickstarter Campaign for Drunktown's Finest at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1536383690/drunktowns-finest