Navajo dubbed ‘Fistful of Dollars’ to premiere at KiMo

Clint Eastwood stars Joe in “A Fistful of Dollars,” which was released in 1964. The Western is the latest film to be dubbed in the Navajo language. (Courtesy of MGM)

“You shoot to kill, you better hit the heart.”

These are the words spoken by Joe, played by Clint Eastwood in the 1964 Western, “A Fistful of Dollars.”

The classic is the latest film to be dubbed into the Navajo language and is called “Béeso Dah Yiníłjaa’. ”

There will be a special premiere screening at 7 p.m. Aug. 16, at the KiMo Theatre, 423 Central NW.

The event is free to attend. Tickets are required at holdmyticket.com and guests are seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The event is being put on by Navajo Nation Museum, Providence Pictures and New Mexico PBS.

“A Fistful of Dollars” tells the story of a wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

This movie is the latest motion picture to be dubbed in the Navajo language by the Navajo Nation Museum. It was part of an effort, led by Museum Director Manny Wheeler, to bring better awareness of Navajo language preservation to Navajo people and the broader public.

When he brought the idea to MGM, they offered their full support to make this project a reality.

Wheeler worked with an all-Navajo group of translators and voice actors who capture the heart and the essence of characters including the “Man with No Name,” infamously portrayed in the film by Eastwood.

“We wanted to take a look at what type of film would be effective to dub into Navajo,” Wheeler said. “A lot of our elders enjoy a Western. Once we knew we wanted to dub a Western, we narrowed it down from there.”

Wheeler and the Navajo Nation Museum have worked on two other projects which have been dubbed into Navajo — “Star Wars” and “Finding Nemo.”

Wheeler said by dubbing popular films into Navajo, it gives an audience a way to connect through language.

“We’re losing our language faster than we think,” he says. “The effort has to be put in there to preserve it. I don’t speak my Native language fully and I’m aware that I need to put the effort forward as well.”

According to Providence Pictures, the screening will be captured by a film crew from the PBS series “Native America.”

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