Miss Navajo's creator, Billy Luther, calls the film ''a powerful and exciting story of one young Navajo woman and her quest to win the Miss Navajo Nation crown.''

 ''Miss Navajo'' tells the story of Crystal Frazier, a tomboyish Navajo girl from Table Mesa, N.M., who decides to run for the title of Miss Navajo. The pageant is similar to American pageants in many ways - girls compete against one another in question and answer segments; they must have a talent to perform; and in the end, they receive a crown, a title and a yearlong responsibility to represent their people and culture.

''Some people feel it's a film about language preservation,'' he said. ''Others feel it's a film that explores Navajo women. I also get that people feel it challenges the whole notion of what beauty is. I never tell people what to think when they see the film.''

Native language is a natural theme of the film, and the young women competing for Miss Navajo are all at different levels of fluency. In the film's opening sequence, we see Frazier sitting before a panel, being asked a question in the Navajo language.

Looking uncomfortable, Frazier asks if the question can be repeated in English.

According to the Miss Navajo Nation Council, ''The most important qualification for the Miss Navajo Nation Pageant is to be fluent in the Navajo and English languages. ...Unlike most beauty pageants throughout the world, the Miss Navajo Nation pageant is of beauty 'within' one's self.''


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