Steven Lewis Simpson

Why I always release my films in Lakota Country first

It’s been 17 and a half years since I started filming in Lakota Country (mostly Pine Ridge), and Neither Wolf Nor Dog is the third feature-length film I’ve made there. In that time I’ve heard so many times about people who came into the area, shot a documentary or film there and was never heard of again. “We heard it’s been shown xxx but not here” was a regular complaint. Well, I always found that a disrespectful way to go. I’ve always made sure we showed there first.

With my movie Rez Bomb, I bought a projection system and drove from LA to Pine Ridge and did a series of screenings in halls around the rez. With A Thunder-Being Nation, I screened it before it was completed to those that participated so I could get their feedback on how their interviews were used and make sure they all signed off on it.

Before our US Premiere at a film festival a few months ago I did a special screening at the Nunpa Theatre on Pine Ridge and long before that we did a special screening for Dave Bald Eagle when it was a work in progress. Now just two weeks before we’re due to start releasing it into cinemas it is opening this week at the Nunpa Theatre in Kyle, on Pine Ridge. The theatre asked for it early and I was keen to provide them with that opportunity.

I hope some of you in the area make it there. More cinemas are going to be announced in the next few days. Keep an eye on the facebook page and sign up to out mailing list.

At a recent screening for fans of the novel at a book festival, the film got a standing ovation. The IMDB audience score is an amazing 9.1/10. Read reviews here.

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5 thoughts on “Why I always release my films in Lakota Country first

  1. James Shearer

    I received the movie on the 21st of January, the day of this post and I took it home and watched it. It was a very good movie, very real and it was something I could relate to. It is rare to find another white person who understands a certain perspective that I share. My current wife is from Allen, SD, and since we have been married I have spent a lot of time with her family and so you become family, natives are very accepting of someone when they marry into the family, as long as you spend the time to show you want to be part of the family. My previous wive is from Rosebud and although we aren’t married any longer, she has an older sister and her kids still treat me as family. This movie has those elements, those feelings, that I have when I am visiting the rez. It is hard to find a movie or any type of medium that can bring those feelings as if you are there, it is a familiarity with the story line. Scenes such as the ones at the Wounded Knee memorial site were very powerful, almost as powerful as actually being there. I really enjoyed this movie and cannot wait to show it to my wife.

    Thank You

    1. admin Post author

      Thanks so much for sharing, James. I greatly appreciate that. It is a long and lonely road making a film like this and it makes all the difference getting such feedback. Any chance you could post this review on the reviews page of the film on IMDB and vote there as it helps encourage others to the film.

      Similarly voting on the Rotten Tomatoes page is helpful too

      1. James Shearer

        Posted, there are certain movies I love to watch and I have added this to my list. Dreamkeeper is a great movie, I also enjoyed Into the West, among a few others.

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