With audio studio Mr. Bronx's Eric Hoffman as supervising sound editor and Sarah Weck contributing to sound design, the documentary Lakota Nation vs. United States will have its world premiere in competition at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival starting Saturday, June 11th. Additional screenings take place Sunday, June 12th, Monday, June 13th, and Friday, June 17th.
Through interviews, archival footage, and current events, the documentary highlights the significance of the Black Hills to the Očéti Šakówiŋ people and how it’s been repeatedly stolen from them across American history - from the arrival of the first Europeans in 1492 to treaty agreements broken around the 1870s gold rush, to the desecration of The Six Grandfathers to make Mount Rushmore in the early 20th century. The film explores the attempted erasure of the Lakota Indians to service this exploitation and is among the first to chronicle the ongoing fight to reclaim their sacred land.
Eric and Sarah crafted the ethereal sound design for the documentary, blending the natural sounds of the Black Hills with surreal tones and lush soundscapes that meld into the score by composer Raven Chacon, who as of May 2022 is the first Native American to win the Pulitzer Prize for music. Hoffman provided the final sound mix weaving interviews with these elements as well as narration by Layli Long Soldier of her written work, in collaboration with the filmmakers Jesse Short Bull (Istinma), Laura Tomaselli (MLK/FBI, Surge), Benjamin Hedin (MLK/FBI, Two Trains Runnin’), and Phil Pinto (MLK/FBI).
The documentary features interviews with activists and founders of the current #landback movement Nick Tilsen and Krystal Two Bulls, among others; music by Jonny Greenwood, Nine Inch Nails, Amulets, and more; cinematography by Kevin Phillips; and was executive produced by Sarah Eagle Heart, Mark Ruffalo, and others out of non-fiction studio XTR.
Click HERE to view the full schedule.
Synopsis: It is the most sacred place on earth, the birthplace of the Lakota that has shaped thought, identity and philosophy for the Očéti Šakówiŋ since time immemorial--the life-giving land known as the Black Hills. Yet with the arrival of the first Europeans in 1492, the sacred land has been the site of conflict between the people it has nurtured and the settler state seeking to exploit and redefine it in its own image. This powerful new documentary is a searing testament to the strength of the Oyate and a visually stunning rejoinder to the distorted image of a people long-shaped by Hollywood. Lakota Nation vs. United States is a lyrical and provocative testament to a land and a people who have survived removal, exploitation and genocide - and whose best days are yet to come.