Incident at Oglala
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|Incident at Oglala|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Apted|
|Produced by||Arthur Chobanian|
|Narrated by||Robert Redford|
|Edited by||Susanne Rostock|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
Incident at Oglala is a 1992 documentary by Michael Apted, narrated by Robert Redford. The film documents the deaths of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the summer of 1975.
It examines the legal case surrounding the subsequent trials of Robert Robideau and Darrell Butler, and later the separate trial of Leonard Peltier, who had to be extradited from Canada. Robideau and Butler were acquitted at their trial, but Peltier was convicted of murder in 1977. (Peltier's supporters, including the International Indian Treaty Council, maintain that he is innocent of the crimes.) The film also discusses tribal chairman Dick Wilson.
There were many unsolved murders and drive-by shootings on the reservation, caused by a culture clash between traditional and Americanized Sioux. The American Indian Movement (AIM) was invited to the reservation to help assert traditional values. It was headquartered at Calvin Jumping Bull's property on the southern edge of Oglala. The "incident at Oglala" was precipitated by the FBI investigation of a pair of stolen boots. Jimmy Eagle, one of the AIM teenagers, was thought to have taken a pair of boots after a fight, and two FBI agents, wanting to talk to him about it, pursued a vehicle they thought he was driving into the AIM camp, leading to a shootout which left both dead.
Apted was nominated for the Critics Award in 1992 for the film.