What: Soul Food Cinema Presents HEARING RADMILLA, a film by Angela Webb
When: Friday March 18 at 7pm.
Where: The Point of Destination Cafe, 6460 Greene Street (at the Upsal Train Station)· Philadelphia, PA 19119 · 215-849-7771
Cost: Free w/ purchase of a Soul Food Friday Meal ($12 and up).
Please RSVP at Info@reelblack.com .
Director: Angela Webb
82 Minutes · USA · Documentary Feature
Hearing Radmilla is a portrait of Radmilla Cody, Miss Navajo Nation 1997. She becomes one of the Navajo’s most polarizing pop culture figures, as the first bi-racial Miss Navajo. During the pageant competition, Radmilla out-performed the others and won the title, but victory was not entirely sweet. Some argued that she could never truly represent the Navajo people. Others contended that identity was a way of life and not simply a matter of blood quantum. The debate played out in the local editorial pages.
Radmilla refused to be outdone. She’d grown up on the reservation with her maternal grandmother, speaking Navajo and herding sheep. Although Radmilla had faced bigotry her grandmother always taught her, that she was undeniably Navajo.
So with her sterling silver crown in place, Radmilla traveled around ‘the rez’ fulfilling her duties. A brilliant vocalist, she charmed the community with song. Eventually, Radmilla Cody became one of the most popular Miss Navajos ever.
Following the pageant, Radmilla embarked on a singing career. She released award-winning albums of traditional Navajo songs, and became a highly sought after local celebrity. By all indications Radmilla Cody was destined for further prominence and fame.
Then her life took an unforeseen turn. Circumstances that began before her days in the public eye were the cause. Radmilla had become involved in an abusive relationship with a man who would later be described in the press as a drug ‘kingpin.’
In 2002, the man was indicted and tried for drug trafficking. Radmilla was included in the indictment and had to face the courts as well. That fall, she was convicted of misprison of a felony (failing to report criminal activities) and sentenced to 21 months in a federal corrections facility.
Since her release in July 2004, Radmilla Cody, ever resilient, has put her life back together. She continues to make music and has released two more albums. Always willing to take on new challenges, she has returned to school and is now completing her undergraduate degree in Communications with a Minor in Sociology. Today, Radmilla is also an active spokesperson against domestic violence. She created the ‘Strong Spirit ‘ Life is Beautiful Not Abusive’ campaign in efforts to raise awareness on and off the reservations.