Buffy Sainte-Marie is one of the most underappreciated people in the world. Which is not to say she isn't appreciated: It's just never going to be enough. The Cree singer-songwriter, teacher, writer, painter, early adopter of digital technologies, Sesame Street stalwart, and fighter for indigenous rights is so awesome, and hot, that no one will ever fully saint her the way we feel she should be sainted. In Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, director Joan Prowse mostly lets the great lady tell her own story -- a good directorial choice. But Prowse's plotline skips over much of the discrimination Sainte-Marie faced from the beginning of her public career in the early 1960s in the Greenwich Village folk scene and which she continues to face today -- an interesting directorial choice. At the dependably excellent American Indian Film Festival, A Multimedia Life screens as part of the Tribal Touring Program along with, among others, a gorgeous, updated, and subtly politicized retelling of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, made by teenagers at an alternative high school in Winnipeg.
Nov. 5-13, 2010