Iconic Western starring Clint Eastwood dubbed in Navajo


An iconic Western starring Clint Eastwood has been dubbed in the Navajo language.

The movie, “A Fistful of Dollars” or “Béeso Dah Yiníłjaa’” in Navajo, will be screened for free this month on or near the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Clint Eastwood in "Gran Torino."

Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino.”
(Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

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A premiere for the cast and crew is scheduled Nov. 16 at the movie theater in Window Rock, Arizona. Limited seats are available to members of the public who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and consent to a rapid test on site.

The 1964 Western is the third major film available in the Navajo language. “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” was released in 2013, and “Finding Nemo” came out in 2016 as a way to preserve the Navajo language.

“A Fistful of Dollars” was supposed to be released last year, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed it back. Eastwood plays a man with no name who enters a Mexican village amid a power struggle between families.

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Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler said a Western film has been a popular request among Navajo elders.

“It only makes sense to make a movie for them since they are the primary speakers of Navajo,” Wheeler said Wednesday. “I know they’ll have a great time watching it.”

The museum teamed up with the New York-based Kino Lorber film distribution company and the Indigenous-owned Native Stars Studios in Gallup, New Mexico, for the film. It features an all-Navajo cast of voice actors.

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