Cloquet to host first Northland screening of ‘Older Than America,’ public screenings sold outCloquet will host the first Northland screening of a film with local ties – Older Than America. As of Monday evening, both screenings were sold out, according to Rick Stowell of Premiere Theatres in Cloquet.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Fresh on the heels of the George Clooney and Renee Zellweger appearance to promote a movie based on a true Duluth story, Cloquet will host the first Northland screening of another film with local ties.
“Older Than America,” which was filmed on the Fond du Lac Reservation and around Carlton County, will be screened for the public at 5 and 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, at Premiere Theatres in Cloquet. An invitation-only screening also will take place at 7 p.m. that evening to include those involved in the production. Georgina Lightning, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, along with other cast and crew members, will attend that screening.
Selected as one of eight feature films to compete at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, “Older Than America” tells the story of how the American Indian boarding school experience of the late 1800s and 1900s has influenced subsequent generations of the Native American culture.
Well-known local author and poet Jim Northrup has one line in the movie. That scene and others were filmed in his home, yard and fire pit in Perch Lake Township.
Northrup himself attended a boarding school in Pipestone, Minn., from first to fourth grade. He remembers beatings and kids crying at night and did not enjoy the experience.
“All my kids were raised at home,” he said in reference to his upbringing.
From the establishing shots, the film is obviously set in the Cloquet area. Lightning has been quoted as saying viewers will get to know the Cloquet area very well by the time they’re done watching the film. Over 800 local and regional people answered a call for extras and many will appear in various scenes.
Reservations are needed to attend one of the showings as no tickets will be sold on the day of the screenings. Call Premiere Theatres at 218-879-8045 to make a reservation for the 5 or 9 p.m. show on April 3. Tickets are $10 each and include free popcorn and soda.
Proceeds from the screenings will be donated to the Cloquet Educational Foundation, according to Pat Oman, Carlton County economic development director, whose office is a sponsor of the event. Other sponsors include the Upper Minnesota Film Office, Cloquet Chamber of Commerce, Premiere Theatres and FOX 21.
Northrup attended a screening of the film at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in March and said he thought it was “great.” He found two scenes in the film to be particularly moving and powerful. One involves Lightning’s character getting shock treatments and the other is a scene with a priest and a young boy at the boarding school.
At the end of a poem describing his experience at boarding school, Northrup simply wrote, “Institutionalized. Toughed it out. Survived.”