He told us the sky is blue

In "He Told Us the Sky is Blue," Cecilia Mellieon, an Indigenous filmmaker, embarks on an autoethnographic exploration rooted in multidisciplinary research, delving into her family's narrative. This ethnographic film navigates themes of intergenerational trauma, cultural identity, and the enduring impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities. Through the lens of resilience and healing, the narrative paints a poignant picture of the complexities inherent in the contemporary Indigenous experience. This deeply personal journey serves as a foundation for the film's multidisciplinary approach, weaving together oral history, visual anthropology, and a profound exploration of cultural dynamics.

  • Cecilia Mellieon
  • Jacob Ortiz
  • Sheila Brown
  • Isa Ortiz
  • Tatihn Mellieon
  • Peter Biella
  • Leonard Kamerling
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Student
  • Runtime:
    55 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 12, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - San Francisco State University
Director Biography - Cecilia Mellieon

Filmmaker Cecilia Mellieon, originally from San Francisco, CA, navigated the responsibilities of parenthood while working in the service industry before redirecting her energy toward fulfilling her dream of earning a college degree. Within four years, she accomplished an Associate of Arts (AA) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and is poised to complete her Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology in May 2024. With a focus on Visual Anthropology, Cecilia has crafted an oral history project that serves as the groundwork for an ethnographic film. This project delves into the Urban Indian community, exploring the profound impact of intergenerational trauma while spotlighting the resilience of Indigenous people.

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Director Statement

As a filmmaker deeply rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area, my work is an exploration of the Urban Indian experience, particularly focusing on intergenerational trauma and resilience within this community. Inspired by my personal journey of reconnecting with my Native family after years of separation, my ethnographic film, grounded in Visual Anthropology, serves as a platform to shed light on the enduring effects of my father's time at the Theodore Roosevelt Indian Boarding School. Through this lens, I aim to offer an authentic and intimate portrayal, transcending traditional narratives and fostering understanding, empathy, and healing. Join me in unraveling the layers of the Urban Indian narrative, where personal history converges with academic pursuit, creating a cinematic space for the often-overlooked stories of strength within American Indian communities.