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Poster for The Taking / The Searchers

The Taking / The Searchers

Opens on May 24

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe Run Time: 76 min. Release Year: 2021 Language: English, Italian w/ English subtitles

Our screening of Alexandre O. Philippe’s THE TAKING will be paired with John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS.

Director Alexandre O. Philippe will be in attendance to discuss the mythology of the American West in cinema and how audiences can contextualize problematic interpretations of frontier life through a modern lens. Philippe’s documentary, THE TAKING is a visual essay that forces dynamic and necessary conversations about the complicated legacy of Westerns.

Tagline: This illuminating essay uses film scenes to tell of the forced cultural appropriation of a world-famous landscape.

Monument Valley is one of the most recognizable landscapes in the world. Its iconographic use in American Westerns has had a lasting influence on stock photography, advertising, and tourism. The valley has been given mythical significance as an image of a “primitive West” firmly in the hands of white people and meant to be protected from intruders. The fact that Monument Valley is traditional Navajo territory has been obscured in the process.

A radical examination of Monument Valley’s representation in cinema and advertising since John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), The Taking scrutinizes how a site located on sovereign Navajo land came to embody the fantasy of the “Old West,” replete with self-perpetuating falsehoods, and why it continues to hold mythic significance in the global psyche.

Critic Quotes: “Any viewer who has never reflected on the weirdness of tourism, the rephotographing of famous places, or context-blind selfies will walk away with much to think about.” – Hollywood Reporter

“What emerges by the end is a fascinating, robust account of a natural wonder and its function as more than just a movie backdrop.” – Hammer To Nail


Wednesday, May 24, 2023: 6:00

Ticket Prices: $12 Regular / $10 Students & Seniors / $9 Members


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