“Sahkanaga,” a Cherokee word for the “Great Blue Hills of God,” is an 80-minute movie by Chickamauga native John Henry Summerour.
It is his first feature-length movie and was filmed in 21 days during 2009 on locations in Walker County.
“It has been something that has exceeded my expectations,” Summerour said. “And to travel with it and show it all around the world has just been icing on the cake. Coming back home to the tri-state area and showing it in Chattanooga, it’s really for me personally the climax of the entire journey.”
The film features an entirely local cast and originally premiered in Boston in April 2011.
The fictionalized backdrop for the film originates from the events of Tri State Crematory tragedy, as viewed through a child’s perspective.
In the real-life tragedy, remains from more than 300 uncremated bodies were discovered in 2002 on the Tri-State Crematory property in Rock Spring in Walker County. The crematory’s operator, Ray Brent Marsh, is now serving time in prison.
It will be shown at Carmike Cinemas Majestic 12 Theater in Chattanooga beginning Friday through Oct. 18. Summerour and the actors will hold question-and-answer segments with moviegoers after the showings this Friday and Saturday. Also, there will be an informal cast gathering after Friday’s opening night.
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