Older than America
|Older Than America|
|Directed by||Georgina Lightning|
|Screenplay by||Georgina Lightning|
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Tribal Alliance Productions|
|Distributed by||Tribal Alliance Productions|
|Running time||101 minutes|
Older Than America is 2008 American suspense drama film directed by Georgina Lightning and starring Adam Beach, Wes Studi, Georgina Lightning and Bradley Cooper. The film explores and highlights the impact of the "culture-killing" effects of the typical Native American experience in boarding schools in the 1900s and other inter-social relationships between the Native American people and the dominant European based American culture.
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- Adam Beach as John Goodfeather, Fond du Lac Reservation police officer and Rain's fiance
- Georgina Lightning as Rain Many Lightnings O'Rourke, an elementary school teacher and John's fiance
- Bradley Cooper as Luke Peterson, a U.S. government geologist investigating an earthquake that happened on Fond du Lac reservation
- Tantoo Cardinal as Barbara "Auntie Apple" O'Rourke, Rain's aunt and Irene's sister
- Stephen Yoakam as Father Bartoli
- Dan Harrison as Walter Many Lightnings, Rain's uncle
- Wes Studi as Richard Two Rivers, a reservation radio DJ
- Glen Gould (actor) as Steve Klamath, a Native American mayoral candidate
- Dennis Banks as Pete Goodfeather, John's father and tribal medicine man
- Chris Mulkey as Paul Gunderson, the incumbent mayor running for re-election
- Rose Berens as Irene Many Lightnings O'Rourke, Rain's mother and Apple's sister
- Crystle Lightning as Diane, Rain's friend
- Gloria Eshkibok as Mattie Moonshadow, a clerical worker at the local Indian Affairs office
The film was inspired by events from Lightning's life. Her father, who occasionally had violent outbursts, had been quite silent toward her about his childhood. When she was 18, he committed suicide. This event later launched her on an exploratory quest, attempting to find out more about her father's elusive childhood. In the course of her explorations of her father's past, she found herself visiting the Native American boarding school that her father had attended as a boy and noticing the oddly large cemetery behind the school, with the names of so many of its young students etched onto the silent headstones. From this very difficult experience, the concept for the film emerged. The film was shot primarily at the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation in Minnesota.
The official world premiere for Older than America took place at the 2008 SXSW Festival in the narrative feature competition. The film screened at other festivals including the Women with Vision Festival in March 2008, Talking Stick Film Festival in June 2008 and Lake Arrowhead Film Festival in April 2009.
The film had a VOD release through IFC Films on March 17, 2010. The film was released in DVD format on October 12, 2010. The film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray disc by Metrodome in the United Kingdom under the title American Evil on March 5, 2012, for which the cover art and starring credit highlights Bradley Cooper's role in the film. The film received mostly negative reviews in the UK after its DVD and Blu-ray release. With most critics calling it cheaply made, and was only released in the UK due to the mass popularity of actor Bradley Cooper and his involvement in the film to boost sales.
“There are two ways to conquer a nation: kill ‘em or take away everything that defines who they are.” Pete Goodfeather (Dennis Banks)
“Sounds like a holocaust.” Luke Peterson (Bradley Cooper)
Awards & Honors
The film won Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (for Wes Studi) awards at the American Indian Film Festival. It was named Best Dramatic Feature at the 2008 Flyway Film Festival. The film received the Aloha Accolade Award from the Honolulu International Film Festival on March 8. 2009.
Compiled & produced by George S. Clinton
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