Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

This Thanksgiving, Remember the Native American (Docs)

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik November 27, 2013 at 1:57PM

I am embarrassed to say that before watching "Young Lakota," a new documentary directed by Rose Rosenblatt and Marion Lipschutz (The Education of Shelby Knox), I had yet to see a nonfiction film that focused on Native American life. This was probably a result of my own oversight--Independent Lens has produced plenty of them, see my Docutopia column this week--but I assume it's also due to the general lack of media attention given to America's indigenous populations. As we visit with friends and family this week to celebrate our colonialist holiday, it seems like an opportune time to highlight the struggles of Native American people--and the documentaries that chronicle them.
1

I am embarrassed to say that before watching "Young Lakota," a new documentary directed by Rose Rosenblatt and Marion Lipschutz (The Education of Shelby Knox), I had yet to see a nonfiction film that focused on Native American life. This was probably a result of my own oversight--Independent Lens has produced plenty of them, see my Docutopia column this week--but I assume it's also due to the general lack of media attention given to America's indigenous populations. As we visit with friends and family this week to celebrate our colonialist holiday, it seems like an opportune time to highlight the struggles of Native American people--and the documentaries that chronicle them.

Lakota

Here's an excerpt from my article:

Young Lakota presents an intimate look at life “on the Rez,” that also serves as a compelling microcosm of the country’s culture wars and the struggle for women’s rights.

Add another feather in the headdress of Independent Lens, which has supported an impressive roster of docs that have touched on Native American themes, from Chiefs (2002), an observational documentary about Native American high school basketball players to Young Lakota producer Heather Rae’s portrait of the celebrated activist Trudell (2005). In a country that appears to suffer from both historical amnesia and social apathy, these films spotlight a people and a culture often ignored by the mainstream media.

Set in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation,Young Lakota follows two young, politically minded Native Americans who choose to stay in their homeland to work for positive change in their local community. Early in the film, one of the subjects, Sunny Clifford, a single woman who works at a convenience store, lays out some of the statistics that hover over those who live on the reservation: Life expectancy is four years less than the U.S population and death rates are 670% higher from alcoholism, and 318% higher from diabetes. “We’re not expected to do much,” she says, wryly. “Have kids and raise them”—and then presumably, die.

Read the rest of the story here:

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am