The Mother Tongue Film Festival is a public program of Recovering Voices, a collaboration between Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Opening Reception 

6 p.m., Potomac Atrium

There will be an opening reception with a performance by Uptown Boyz, a local intertribal drum group, in the National Museum of the American Indian’s Potomac Atrium before the screening of Restless River. 

Opening Night Film: "Restless River"


7 – 9:00 p.m., Rasmuson Theater 

Canada | 2019 | 98 min.


Director: Marie-Helene Cousineau and Madeline Ivalu (Inuk)


In English and Inuktitut with English subtitles.

Set at the end of World War II, Restless River follows a young Inuk woman as she comes to terms with motherhood after being assaulted by a soldier. Navigating the social norms of the colonizers and her own heritage, Elsa draws courage from her rugged land to become a woman as strong and independent as the river that cuts across it. Based on Gabrielle Roy’s 1970 novel Windflower (La Riviere sans repos). Director Marie-Helene Cousineau and Arnait video producer Lucy Tulugarjuk will attend the screening. 

Note: Restless River film contains a scene of sexual violence that some viewers may find disturbing.

Preceded by:


Argentina | 2016 | 3 min. 

Director: María Manzanares 

In Mapuzungun with Mapuzungun and Spanish subtitles. 

A music video featuring Anahi Rayen Mariluan (Mapuche), Pire connects motherhood to humanity's relationship with land and water.



  • Occurs Thursday, February 20th, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm


National Museum of the American Indian

Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20560


Marielba Alvarez

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