SF DocFest 2017
AIM Film Fest, Tulsa, Santa Fe
A Lakota teenager becomes politicized as he witnesses injustices against his people.
While focused on young George Dull Knife, from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Williams’ film ultimately also serves as a profile of his father, Guy. The latter’s perspective, nicely represented via animated treatments of his artwork, offers generational history that informs how the elder man has raised his children, including George, to embrace the strength of their heritage as warriors. The younger Dull Knife, who is 14 at the outset of this project, sees the importance of claiming his legacy by turning to activism, joining AIM, the American Indian Movement, and its local efforts to address negative influences on Pine Ridge. Notably they take a stand against the local white community of Whiteclay, which sells alcohol to Lakota, coming into conflict with local law enforcement and its disproportionate targeting of Natives in arrests. The film benefits from providing a focus on the Dull Knifes rather than going for an overly broad look at the larger community – while limited in scope by design, the result is an intimate, personal exploration of modern day Native identity and activism.