WGBH Openvault

New Television; Sun, Moon and Feather

Part of New Television Workshop.

Approximate date: 1989


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Series
New Television
Program
Sun, Moon and Feather
Program Number

103

Series Description

"New Television" began as a local pilot production of WNET (New York) in 1986. In 1987, WGBH signed on as co-producer, and the shows were aired in Boston and New York. In 1988 and 1989, KCET (Los Angeles) and WETA (D.C.) became producers in association. In 1991, PBS picked up "New Television," and it was broadcast nationally. The following year, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, replaced WNET, WETA, and KCET as co-producer with WGBH. In 1993, WGBH ceased to be a co-producer for the series, and the "home base" moved to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in Hartford, CT.

"New Television" commissioned, produced, and acquired programming. In its early years, "New Television" broadcast works commissioned by The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Increasingly, experimental films as well as video works were broadcast as a part of this series. Many of the later episodes of "New Television" contain works that play with and deconstruct the documentary genre. Series release date: 1986

Program Description

"This hybrid musical comedy/documentary traces the life and times of three Native American sisters growing up in Brooklyn. The program combines song and dance reenactments of family and tribal stories with home movies taken over a thirty-year period." -- WGBH press release. Amid both miniature and full-scale sets depicting the family's crowded apartment, details of the lives of the three Miguel daughters and their parents emerge. Often, the narration of the three adult performers overlaps, contradicting and affirming the others' stories. Significant details, such as the birth of the youngest sister and the oldest daughter's marriage and conversion to Judaism, are presented in newsreel style. Other details emerge as anecdotal remembrances -- their father's alcoholism, summers at a beach house, their father's performances of "traditional" Native American ceremonies and dances for tourists, and relatives living off the coast of Panama. At one point, two of the women respond to scenes from the Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy film "Rose Marie," which features a Native American dance number, by reenacting a duet between the two. "Sun, Moon, and Feather," which is approximately 26 minutes in length, is both a protest against stereotyping and marginalization, and the very personal story of one family. In addition to the musical scenes excerpted and reenacted from "Rose Marie," the three women sing an a cappella version of a song entitled, "We Three." The work is approximately 26 minutes long and was broadcast as a segment of episode 602 (1990), and episode 103 (1991), of "New Television."

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Subjects
Indians of North America
Family
Comedy
Documentaries and factual works
Topics
Film and Television
Creators
Rosen, Bob (Producer)
Zipp, Jane (Producer)
Contributors
Miguel, Gloria ()
Miguel, Muriel ()
Mayo, Lisa ()
Citation
Chicago: “New Television; Sun, Moon and Feather,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 3, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5C09C26F57534BED8755594C59690BE4.
MLA: “New Television; Sun, Moon and Feather.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 3, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5C09C26F57534BED8755594C59690BE4>.
APA: New Television; Sun, Moon and Feather. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5C09C26F57534BED8755594C59690BE4
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