Film Preview: MORONI FOR PRESIDENT (directed by Saila Huusko and Jasper Rischen)

Post image for Film Preview: MORONI FOR PRESIDENT (directed by Saila Huusko and Jasper Rischen)

by Lamont Williams on August 20, 2020

in Film,Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area


The documentary Moroni for President offers an eye-opening and humorous look at a political race that runs surprisingly parallel to the current political landscape of the U.S. It will be released in Virtual Cinemas beginning Friday, August 21, 2020,at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater, and then expanding to other arthouse theaters through September 2020.

Frameline & Roxie Virtual Cinema Present: Moroni for President

The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American reservation in the United States. Every four years, the Navajo tribe elects its president, whom many consider the most powerful Native American in the country. In the midst of a frenzied election to determine the next president of the tribe, Moroni for President takes the audience to every corner of the iconic American Southwest. The film centers on Moroni Benally, an underdog candidate with radical ideas, whose homespun campaign originated out of his frustration with the lack of progress in the reservation where he grew up. The witty academic embarks on a grueling, lonely campaign, discovering soon enough that theory does not necessarily prepare you for the daily dirt of politics.

Moroni Benally. Photo courtesy of Frameline

As the election unfolds, the film delves into Moroni’s layered identity as a Mormon and gay Navajo man and, along the way, introduces and explores the lives of other queer characters working on other campaigns. These include Zachariah George, an eccentric assistant to the incumbent president with a love for beauty pageants, traditional singing, culture, and the Navajo language; and Alray Nelson, an LGBTQ+ rights advocate and campaign manager of one of the frontrunners. Moroni for President offers both a behind-the-scenes look into a political campaign within a Native American community and an exploration of the diverse identities within it.

Moroni Benally. Photo courtesy of Frameline

Moroni for President
Frameline Distribution
opens Friday, August 21 at San Francisco’s Roxie Virtual Cinema
then plays August 31 through October 5, 2020, at Vision Maker Media’s Indigenous Film Festival
for tickets ($10), visit Roxie
expands to other arthouses thru September, 2020
available to rent or own on Apple TV Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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