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Overshoot and Collapse of the Ancient Four Corners, A Film by Cloudy Ridge Production

History Live! Film Screening

Event date: 9/22/2023 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Export event

Overshoot and Collapse of the Ancient Four Corners, A Film by Cloudy Ridge Production

Location: Student Union Ballroom, Fort Lewis College

Sponsored by the San Juan Basin Archaeological Society, the Center of Southwest Studies, and FLC's Anthropology Department


The film Overshoot and Collapse of the Ancient Four Corners, which premiered at the Durango Film Festival, will be presented on September 22, 2023 by the San Juan Basin Archaeological Society and the Fort Lewis College (FLC) Anthropology Department and Center of Southwest Studies as part of History Live! Durango, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM in the FLC Student Union Ballroom.  The showing is free and open to the public.

The film, by the non-profit Cloudy Ridge Productions, addresses issues of sedentism, aggregation, depopulation, and climatic concerns of the pre-contact Indigenous peoples of the Four Corners region. It transports the viewer on a journey from the beginnings of sedentism to human overshoot in the ancient landscape.  How did these ancient people live? What were their migration patterns? How did they affect the environment and climate? Are we presently experiencing similar patterns of hardship and violence that these ancient ones suffered?

The film will be introduced by Larry Ruiz, the Durango-based producer of the film, and Venancio Aragon, a Dine textile artist.  Venancio holds two BA degrees: one in Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico and the other in Native American Studies from FLC. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Venancio worked for the National Park Service as an interpretive ranger in parks and monuments throughout the Southwest.  Venancio was the 2020 Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow at the Santa Fe School for Advanced Research.

Larry Ruiz has been creating anthropological and cultural preservation landscape films in the Four Corners area since 2011, producing, co-producing, and directing over 25 documentaries.  His films show the importance of the ancient civilizations, and how their modern descendants, Anglo and Indigenous scholars, and organizations are striving to protect what little of this early culture remains. Larry’s inspiration as a filmmaker stems from his experience in the 1990’s to the early 2000’s, when he spent most of his free time in Chaco Canyon, where he worked on the Solstice Project with Anna Sofaer. His work has been featured on National Geographic Television and in various universities and museums.


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