The tremendous grassroots effort led by Black Mesa Trust to stop Peabody Mining Company from pumping pristine drinking water to transport coal was accomplished on December 31, 2005. With the termination of coal revenues the Hopi villages considered their future survival, reflecting on the traditional beliefs that have carried them through similar hard times over a millennium in the Southwest. The Hopi found the right prayer for the villages and for all people: running. In the documentary, Hopi runners carried a gourd of water gathered from international waters in the attempt to convey the message that “Water is Life” to the Fourth World Water Forum in 2006. The runners’ footsteps and breath vibrate in the wind approaching the critical moment which will result in the release of energy. In the Hopi belief this energy released into the environment is the real message to and from water! The message is shared now, in Paatuwaqatsi.
Victor Masayesva Jr. is a widely recognized Hopi Independent producer and director who has been at the forefront of experimental filmmaking in the Native American film and video community. Besides his commitment to producing innovative films and videos he has been a prominent advocate for films by indigenous peoples from the international community, for the purpose of encouraging acceptance of an indigenous aesthetic. Raised in the conservative Hopi village of Hotevilla, which to this day refuses electric lines into the village, during a time when there was little contact with the Whiteman other than the government school teachers, the Hopi culture has continued to shape his views.