Malni - Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore

Sky Hopinka
82 minutes


A poetic, experimental debut feature circling the origin of the death myth from the Chinookan people in the Pacific Northwest, małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore follows two people as they wander through their surrounding nature, the spirit world, and something much deeper inside. At its center are Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier, who take separate paths contemplating their afterlife, rebirth, and death. Probing questions about humanity’s place on earth and other worlds, Sky Hopkina’s film will have audiences thinking (and dreaming) about it long after.


“Critic’s Pick! An essential portrait of contemporary Indigenous life. Refreshingly centers the Native perspective, and beckons audiences onto its wavelength by tapping into something more intuitive, the stuff of dreams.”
The New York Times

“Watching Malni…I felt a sense of replenishment. A lyrical art film that uses ancestral storytelling techniques to share experiences of Indigenous living and political resistance.”
– Cassie Da Costa, Vanity Fair

"Mr. Hopinka is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and descended from the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. His work, which he aptly calls 'ethnopoetic,' is built on that biographical data, but expands outward from it. Present tense and personal, it rivals in visual and linguistic beauty any new art I’ve seen in some time." 
– Holland Cotter, The New York Times