Scenes from the Glittering World

Following three Indigenous students, Scenes from the Glittering World is a meditation on adolescence, trauma, and the power of connecting with an isolated Navajo homeland.

Independent Lens
Premiere Date
May 16, 2022
60 minutes

Jared Jakins


Scott Christopherson

As an undergraduate Scott worked for Ross McElwee of Harvard University on his film In Paraguay. Ross helped guide Scott’s first film, Only the Pizza Man Knows, which was broadcast internationally for over a year on the satellite cable network BYUtv. After his undergraduate work Scott worked as the Documentary Arts Director/Instructor for Spy Hop Show more Productions and the Sundance Institute’s youth documentary workshops. His students’ films went on to win multiple awards locally and internationally and were nominated as the top short film in Utah two consecutive years. While living in San Francisco for graduate school, Scott shot, directed, and edited over 20 short films for Project Runway’s season six website. Scott received his MFA in documentary cinema from San Francisco State University and also earned an MA degree in Anthropology from UW-Madison. He is currently an Assistant Professor of documentary film at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Show less

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The Film

Sprawling across more than 17,000,000 acres of Northeast Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, the Navajo Nation encompasses some of the country’s most desolate areas. On its fringes lies the most remote high school in the continental United States, home to students who are experiencing ubiquitous teen trials and triumphs, while simultaneously struggling through complications unique to their isolated community.

Scenes from the Glittering World follows three Indigenous students as they maneuver through the complications of adolescence in hopes of realizing their dreams, all while balancing the responsibilities of family, the realities of attending a remarkably small school with shrinking resources, and the spectacular, unyielding seclusion of the surrounding landscape. While the school itself faces existential questions about its future, the students grapple with their own personal narratives and community expectations. Granite Sloan is a 14-year old struggling to find purpose at school and at home after the death of his younger brother. Ilii Neang is a freshman, new to the school after moving from Las Vegas, who doesn’t know if her family and community will accept her if she openly embraces her queerness. And Noah Begay is a senior at risk of not graduating; lacking the proper academic motivation, Noah has found freedom, power, and connection playing Fortnite. 

Scenes from the Glittering World is a meditation on adolescence, trauma and the power of connecting with a homeland – a poetic chronicle of daily life, set in the context of the Navajo community.