Miss Navajo (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Miss Navajo (2007)





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Billy Luther's documentary Miss Navajo explores the kind of pageant even pageant-haters can get behind -- one without swimsuits, which values brains over beauty. Each year in Navajo Nation, a select group of young Navajo women compete for the honor of Miss Navajo, a community ambassadorship whose origins date back to the first crowning in 1952. Instead of singing or baton twirling, however, contestants square off in competitions ranging from weaving to sheep butchering, as well as other activities designed to celebrate Navajo heritage. The film follows the campaign of one particular contestant, Crystal Frazier, while introducing the audience to five other candidates for the same honor. While each excels in different areas, the true difference maker may be who has the best fluency in the Navajo language. And as the newer generations of contestants come to identify themselves more with American culture than Navajo, it becomes clear this may be a problem -- for all of them. Through interviews with Luther, a handful of past honorees lend their perspective on the history of the competition. Miss Navajo was first screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

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