Two Spirits (2007 film)


This 22-min film, called "Two Spirits," by Ruth Fertig and distributed by Frameline Films is available on YouTube. It follows Joey Criddle, a Two Spirit man fighting with other LGBTQ Native Americans to reclaim the place of honor that many Two Spirits once held prior to colonization.

Criddle's opening monologue is a powerful summary of the Two Spirit predicament,

There's a saying that we don't throw our people away. People who were born differently whether mentally, physically, emotionally, or whatever, were considered sacred or holy people. There was a reason why the Creator made them different. Historically, Two Spirit people were viewed as very special people. That all changed with the coming of the Europeans. When the Europeans came, they attacked that. One of the first things they did was attack that Two Spirit culture and took it away. So today, our own people don't even know about it a lot of times. A lot of our own people don't even recognize Two Spirit traditions. That can be a hard thing when your people have forgotten their own traditions and you're trying to remind them of it.

The film follows Criddle as he leads parallel lives - one as a co-director of the Two Spirit Society of Denver and the other as a father attending the Mississippi wedding of his Pentecostal son. 

His story is framed significantly around being a gay man (incl. gay rights, gay culture, etc). Two Spirit is understood as holding both male and female spirits, but those gender dynamics are not explored very much.

You can also find "Two Spirits" online at Frameline.

There is a Q&A with the filmaker at IndieExpresss: