"Powerful" - TimeOut | "Stunning" - Chicago Reader | "Complex and hopeful" - Gene Siskel Film Center | Best Public Service Award - American Indian Film Festival, San FranciscoNative American Studies • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation • Lakota Sioux • Trauma of Genocide • Youth Voices • Teen Suicide Epidemic
Date of Completion: 2016 | Run Time: 56 minutes | Language: English and Lakota | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Seth McClellan | Producers: Seth McClellan & Mark Hetzel
It’s freezing, the wind blows and the snow is coming down hard in the Badlands of South Dakota, in a little town in the middle of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. At Little Wound High School, the kids and the staff have had a hard year. It’s January 2016 and last winter the cost of generations of trauma against the Lakota Sioux tribe was paid: a teenage suicide epidemic. It didn’t happen exactly by surprise and the documentary LITTLE WOUND’S WARRIORS lets the teenagers and community members speak for themselves. They recount the history of the genocide of their ancestors and how that violence echoes into today through the effects of alcoholism, poverty and the frustrations between generations.
But most importantly, through these interviews, we don’t just hear the problems. We listen as these young people recount their hopes for the future and how as they retrieve their heritage it invigorates and brings hope to the community. With stunning aerial footage of the wintry Badlands and intimate, personal interviews we learn that their story is one not of sorrow and victimization but instead a journey of rising up in hope and strength, determined to save themselves and their people through hard work and concrete action. This hour-long documentary was created with extensive feedback from the community and interview subjects to ensure it is representative not just of the challenges on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, but also the tremendous sense of community and connection with an ancient Lakota tradition that inspires us all.