While its physical doors are temporarily closed, the Strand Theatre continues to offer a weekly schedule of new release films that viewers can watch through online streaming platforms. By purchasing a “virtual ticket,” movie fans can still see the films that would have shown at the theater. Ticket proceeds are split between the Strand and the movie distribution company, so a viewer’s purchase is a simple and direct way to provide much-needed support for the theater.
Showing on September 25 - October 8 is Moroni for President (2018).
Moroni Benally is running for the presidency of the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American nation in the US. Young, gay, Mormon, and highly educated, he sets out to confront the political establishment in a homecoming that challenges what he imagined home, and himself, to be.
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 this vast area in the iconic American Southwest.
The film centers on Moroni Benally, an underdog candidate with radical ideas, whose homespun campaign originated out of frustration about 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.
As the election unfolds, the film delves into Moroni's layered identity as a Mormon and gay Navajo man and, along the way, expands to include other LGBTQ+ characters working on some of the other campaigns. This includes Zachariah George, who is an eccentric assistant to the incumbent president and has a love for beauty pageants, traditional singing, and the Navajo language; and Alray Nelson, an LGBTQ+ rights advocate and campaign manager of one of the frontrunners.
Simultaneously a behind-the-scenes look into a political campaign within a Native American community and an exploration of identities within said community, “Moroni for President is an eye-opening and humorous portrait of a political race that runs surprisingly parallel to the current political landscape of the U.S. at large,” said Strand, in a news release.
Directed by Saila Huusko and Jasper Rischen. Starring Moroni Benally, Zachariah George, Alray Nelson. The film is not rated. Running time: 1 hour, 22 min.
Virtual tickets cost $12, and will be available on the Strand Theatre website during the film’s screening dates. Once viewers have purchased a ticket, they will have several days in which to watch the film.