We Are Still Here, originally a stageplay, was produced in 2007 as a documentary film incorporating interviews, traditional arts and knowledge, and footage of Cahuilla festivals.
“By sharing Katherine Saubel’s story and the story of her people who have flourished in this seemingly inhospitable desert land for thousands of years, it is our hope that the public will recognize the critical need for continued preservation of this land and its people.”
- Leigh Podgorski, Writer, Director, Producer
We Are Still Here: The story of Katherine Siva Saubel and the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California (2007)
Written, produced and directed by Leigh Podgorski
57 minutes • USA • Documentary Feature
We Are Still Here documents the tenacious struggle of elder and tribal chair, Dr. Katherine Siva Saubel, and her efforts to preserve the culture, history and traditions of the Cahuilla people. Presented through in-depth interviews with Dr. Saubel and her brother, traditional Cahuilla Bird Singer, Alvino Siva; the film also portrays the powerful Creation Stories of the Cahuilla performed by a stellar all Native American cast. Footage also includes Cahuilla festivals and traditional arts of basket weaving and pottery. Katherine Saubel also introduces the viewer to the ethnobotany of the Cahuilla people. The Cahuilla people have preserved the tradition of their ancestors and are teachers of their language and songs that maintain their culture.
We Are Still Here: Katherine Siva Saubel and the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California. 57+ min. Leigh Podgorski in assoc. with Malki Museum, Violet Hills Prods., 818-881-5100; www.violethillsproductions.com . 2008. DVD UPC 8-37101-33298-9. $50. Public performance.
We Are Still Here chronicles an effort by Katherine Siva Saubel and the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California to preserve the culture, history, and traditions of the Cahuilla, presented through in-depth interviews with elder Saubel and her brother Alvino Siva. The film also portrays the Creation mythology of the Cahuilla, performed by a Native American cast, which is well done and sustains viewer interest. There are a lot of important ideas and traditions illuminated here. This project is made possible, in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities as part of the council's statewide California Stories Initiative.
All three films will be appreciated by history buffs, students of Native American history, and general viewers.
—Margaret B. Miller, Univ. of South Dakota Lib., Vermillion
Download We Are Still Here Stageplay (© 1999, Acrobat .pdf, 144 kb)