Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee

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Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee
Directed by Frank Pierson
Produced by Fred Berner
Steven P. Saeta
(executive producer)
Lois Bonfiglio
Robert M. Sertner
Frank von Zerneck
Written by Bill Kerby
Richard Erdoes
Based on Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog
Starring Irene Bedard
Music by Richard Horowitz
Cinematography Toyomichi Kurita
Christopher Tufty
Edited by Katina Zinner
Distributed by TNT
Release date(s)
  • October 16, 1994 (1994-10-16)
Running time 100 min.
Country United States
Language English
Lakota

Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee is a 1994 TNT original movie starring Irene Bedard, Tantoo Cardinal, Pato Hoffmann, Joseph Runningfox, Lawrence Bayne, and Michael Horse and August Schellenberg.

The film follows a young Mary Crow Dog and her poor Lakota family living on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota as she briefly learns the ways of her people and of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee told to her by her grandfather Fool Bull (played by Floyd Red Crow Westerman). She is later put into St. Tristan Boarding School along with her sister Barbra. Mary describes her boarding school experience,

"The years passed as they tried to turn us from Lakota to white. They took away our language, the words of our elders about the history of our people and our memories grew dim. They took away our souls every day and they took our pictures once a year." One night, Barbra decides to run away, but it isn't clear where she is going. Mary is left alone without her sister.

The years dragged on as Mary endures hardships of white society, and as a Lakota girl, she wasn't so sure she wanted to learn the ways of her people, until she reads a newspaper given to her by a young white girl named Nadine(Amy Moore Davis). The paper titled "AMERICANS BEFORE COLUMBUS!" described the rape and looting of Indian lands in America. Mary prints out papers that is a sign to all Indian people in boarding schools who should turn down the white man's ways and take back their land, but she is expelled by her teachers.

Having been kicked out of school, Mary finds her way back to the Oglala Tribal Office in Pine Ridge looking for a job and her aunt Elsie Flood (Casey Camp-Horinek), but to no avail. So she goes searching for her mother and finds her living with a white man and living in the white society. She once again goes searching for a job, but the manager doesn't want to hire Native Americans (revealing the racism in South Dakota in the 1970s). With no job, or anyone who will help her, she hitches a ride with two Indian men, but while they are driving to Rosebud, the passenger attempts to rape her and she jumps out of the car. Later that evening, Webster finds her walking on the road.

Accolades[edit]

The film won the Western Heritage Award for Television Feature Film, 1995.[1]

Irene Bedard was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, but lost to Joanne Woodward.

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