Tubegazing

'Miss Navajo,' a new installment of PBS's 'Independent Lens,' takes aim at a beauty pageant of an entirely different nature. Hint: the winner must be able to slaughter a sheep.

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Independent Lens:

Miss Navajo (PBS): Tired of the bathing suit walk that passes for a skill in most beauty pageants? Tune into this episode of "Independent Lens," a charming look at the annual competition for the best woman to represent the Navajo Nation. Among other skills, she must be able to butcher a sheep with no help and speak the native tongue. While these contestants are indeed beautiful women, there are no bare tummies or fatuous speeches about world peace. Many of these tribal members come from hard lives, and when they say they want to elevate their fellow Navajo, you believe them.
Grade: A
Editor's note: PBS is rolling out this episode of Independent Lens over a series of dates. In some regions, it has already debuted; the rest of the country can see the documentary this weekend. Check local listings for details.

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