Acclaimed filmmaker Robinson Devor (Zoo, Police Beat, The Woman Chaser) presents Pow Wow, an ethereal photographic essay of Palm Springs and the people who live there. Shot over the course of five years, the thematically complex documentary does not rely on a traditional narrative and portrays an epic cross-section of inhabitants and places, hence it’s full title: Pow Wow: Ethnographic Encounters with the People of the Desert Empire.
Inspired by Errol Morris’ Vernon, FL and Werner Herzog’s Fata Morgana, Devor lets the Coachella Valley assume the leading role as DP Sean Kirby (Happy Valley, The Tillman Story, Zoo) basks in the desolate beauty of the Sonoran desert.
Pow Wow is a visual feast, exploring provocative and peculiar conversations, including the implications of the Native American Cahuilla Indians sitting on one of the largest aquifiers in California, and how a desert can be home to more than 130 luxury golf courses.“Investigative documentaries have taken center stage. Cinematic portraits of strange lands and unique people have now fallen out of vogue,” says Devor. “Pow Wow is meant to be an homage without the restraint of having to tell a particular story or focus on any individual. My goal was to capture Palm Springs in all of its eccentric, stunning wonderfulness.”