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Poster for Lakota Nation vs. United States (2023)
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Lakota Nation vs. United States (2023)

Opens on August 11

Director: Jesse Short Bull, Laura Tomaselli Run Time: 120 min. Release Year: 2022

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

Official Selection, 2022 Tribeca Film Festival

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.

“a potent counternarrative to the one most non-Native Americans have been taught… an affecting and timely chronicle”

—Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

Written and narrated by acclaimed Oglala poet Layli Long Soldier and co-directed by Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli, this powerful new documentary is a searing testament to the strength of the Oyate and a visually stunning rejoinder to the distorted image long-shaped by Hollywood. The film received a nomination for the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2024 Independent Spirit Awards.

About the filmmakers:

Jesse Short Bull is a 2016 Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program Development Grant recipient and is also a member of the Oglala Lakota tribal government in South Dakota. His filmmaking features stories from the Oglala Lakota Nation. His short film Istinma (2013) won several awards and was screened at dozens of film festivals across the country. He participates in summer youth filmmaking workshops on the Oglala Lakota Nation with the First Peoples Fund, and he sits on the board of the Black Hills Film Festival in Hill City, South Dakota, one of largest film festivals in the state. His work is inspired by indigenous storytelling and the brilliant teachers who shared its power and responsibility with him.

Laura Tomaselli is a film editor and director based in New York whose credits span several narrative, documentary, and commercial projects. She was honored with a Cinema Eye Award Nomination for her writing and editing work on MLK/FBI (2020), director Sam Pollard’s resonant documentary exploring FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’s relentless campaign of surveillance and harassment against Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2022, directors Short Bull and Tomaselli’s first feature length film Lakota Nation vs. United States was nominated for Best Documentary Film at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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