WEEKEND: Elwha River film returns for encore

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — After last summer’s sold-out Rose Theatre screening, Shelly Solomon hoped to offer again her movie “River as Spirit: Rebirth of the Elwha.”

So, with much delight, Solomon and Jamie Valadez, the Lower Elwha Klallam language expert who narrates the 32-minute film, are doing an encore.

At noon Sunday, “River as Spirit” will light the screen at the Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St., along with a second documentary, “Illahee: Saving Puget Sound One Watershed at a Time.”

Admission to the double feature, titled “Salmon Stories,” is $9. Advance tickets are available with a service charge at www.RoseTheatre.com; remaining seats will be sold at thedoor Sunday.

“River as Spirit” presents a rare opportunity to hear the Klallam language in Valadez’s voice-over. Her narration, with English subtitles, accompanies the viewer in a flight high above the Elwha River from its beginnings in the Olympic Mountains down to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Historic footage

Solomon and aerial cinematographer John Trapman filmed “River as Spirit” with a Cineflex camera in 2011, when the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams were still standing.

“The Cineflex footage in the film is historic,” Solomon noted, “and the only footage of its kind taken just prior to the dam removals.”

Solomon is equally proud of the movie’s inclusion of the ancient tribal language. Valadez, who teaches Klallam language and culture at Port Angeles High School, worked with Lower Elwha Klallam elder Adeline Smith to translate the “River as Spirit” script.

Solomon’s Leaping Frog Films company, based in Nordland, also produced the 40-minute “Illahee.” In it, she tells the story of a community near Bremerton where residents worked together to restore a forest, a salmon stream and Puget Sound.

DVDs of “River as Spirit,” “Illahee” and other documentaries about environmental restoration are available at www.LeapingFrogFilms.com. More information is also available at 360-385-3998.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 06. 2012 5:17PM
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