After Custer's defeat at Little Big Horn and Chief Sitting Bull's subsequent surrender and execution, the Lakota Sioux set out on a 300-mile walk southward through South Dakota. Along the way they were joined by Chief Big Foot's band of Minneconjou Lakota. Pursued by the Seventh Cavalry, both tribes ended up at Wounded Knee where 350 Lakota were massacred, on December 28, 1890, marking the end of the Indian Wars in the U.S.
Since 1986, every December, young Lakota have been retracing this 300-mile route on horseback as part of an annual tradition known as the Chief Big Foot Memorial Ride. In Stephanie Gillard's intimate and moving documentary, we accompany the riders - many of whose ancestors were murdered on that day in 1890 - on this important journey.
Amid the captivating, stunningly photographed South Dakota Badlands, the documentary captures the interactions between the riders and the adult Lakota supervising the trek. The guides, most of whom have participated since they themselves were teenagers, share their wisdom and knowledge, while reflecting on their culture's history and traditions. For the young riders, it's a transformational experience, as they open up about their fears and emotions and thoughts about the future.
Year Released: 2016
Duration: 91 Minutes
Festivals: Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival