Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas

By Blood


Year: 2014
Country: USA
Run Time: 64 minutes

By Blood
By Blood

At the turn of the 19th century, the U.S. government’s efforts to “civilize” the Cherokee and Seminole Nations, among other Native American tribes, included encouraging the use of what they considered to be “modern” farming practices—or, more specifically, African slave labor. After the Civil War, the African men and women previously enslaved by the Cherokee and Seminole Nations became known as “Freedmen” and were granted membership within the tribes. Now, almost 150 years later, the tribes have disenfranchised over 30,000 descendants of Freedmen and excluded them from tribal benefits, such as healthcare and education grants. Marcos Barbery and Sam Russell’s BY BLOOD follows the Freedmen, primarily living in Oklahoma, in their struggle to reclaim citizenship within the Cherokee and Seminole Nations. This enlightening documentary—which includes interviews with tribal leaders, Freedmen, and their legal counsel—exposes the cultural, economic, and racial tensions that emerge when citizenship, sovereignty, and a sense of belonging are at stake. – E.B.

CIFF39 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 9:00 PM

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 12:10 PM

African Diaspora

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Marcos Barbery, Sam Russell

Investigative journalist Marcos Barbery has produced nationally distributed articles and videos on social justice issues, including the conflict between the Freedmen and the Cherokee Nation. Currently living in Brooklyn, Sam Russell, also a cinematographer, has worked on numerous documentaries for PBS, including the series Frontline.

BY BLOOD (2014)

Marcos Barbery

Marcos Barbery, Sam Russell

Sam Russell

Kelly Kendrick

Community Partner

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

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