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The Return of the Buffalo
Claes Söderquist

The ‘Indians of All Tribes’ group occupied Alcatraz prison, which closed in 1963, from 1969 to 1971 in order to build a cultural and educational center. When Söderquist visited the island in 1970, the occupants had built up a functioning society with jobs, family life and schools. The text ‘Indian America Land’ was posted on the outside of a building. In a voice-over, school teacher Bob Bradley discusses political inequality, social problems and the difficult situation for the Native American population in the USA, as well as the background for the occupation. The Return of the Buffalo is a stylized and unique documentary (the only filmed material from the occupation), a black-and-white depiction in which architecture, former prison buildings, politics, music and dance are interwoven with local radio, conversations and discussions into a focused whole. The film became the starting point for Söderquist’s Alcatraz – The Return (2013).

Keywords Documentary, Experimental, Architecture, Landscape
Aspect ratio 1.33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format Generic film
Duration 00:19:00
Language English
Color BW
Year 2012
In VOD Claes Söderquist: A Retrospective in Eight Parts
Latest screening Nov 7, 2022
Oct 10, 2021
Jun 10, 2021
May 8, 2019
Feb 6, 2019
May 5, 2018
Watch at home on Vimeo Rent this work for public screenings

About the artist

Claes Söderquist

Born in 1939. Studied painting at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Works as a curator and film maker. Lives in Stockholm. Chairman of Filmform’s board 1999-2012. Söderquist has curated several comprehensive exhibitions at Moderna Museet in Stockholm: “The Pleasure Dome”, American Experimental Film 1939-1979 (1980 in collaboration with Jonas Mekas), Nordic Film (1983), West German Experimental Film (1985 in collaboration with Birgit Hein) and Swedish Avantgarde Film 1924-1990 (tour in the US in collaboration with Jonas Mekas and Anthology Film Archives in New York).

Söderquist has also exhibited his own films and video works at the Center of Contemporary Art in Kristianstad (2014) and a solo exhibition of his work was presented at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Stockholm 2013). His films have been screened at Avant (Karlstad 2006), Moderna Museet (Stockholm 2012) and Turbidus Film (Stockholm 2014).

To find out more about Söderquist: OEI #69-70: On Film (2015), Magasinet Walden (2012 i valfiskens buk), Passager (catalogue, two volumes, 2013)