Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Journalist encounters birth, marriage and death in a besieged village and shows how the long standoff changed history and his own life.
Journalist encounters birth, marriage and death in a besieged village and shows how the long standoff changed history and his own life.
439 backers pledged $63,711 to help bring this project to life.

About

WOUNDED KNEE: A LINE IN THE SAND documentary film project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$63,711

439

The Trailer

The Film

Wounded Knee: A Line in the Sand is an eyewitness account of the American Indian Movement's 1973 armed occupation of Wounded Knee and an exploration of how the long siege of that historic village changed Indian Country. The feature-length documentary presents the journey of two characters: Willard Carlson, a Yurok Indian fisherman who fought at Wounded Knee, and journalist Kevin McKiernan, the film's non-Indian director, who covered the controversial occupation from the inside.

The 71-day siege at Wounded Knee was the longest public disorder in U.S. history, not counting the Civil War. The dramatic standoff caught the attention of the world. By the time it was over, two Indians were dead, two federal agents and 18 Indians were wounded, and more than 500 arrests had been made.

Drum circle at Wounded Knee, 1973
Drum circle at Wounded Knee, 1973

How Wounded Knee changed history

The occupation galvanized public support for Native Americans. Within just a few years, Congress passed significant pieces of legislation: from the Indian Self-Determination Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act to the groundbreaking American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which gave Native Americans the right to legally conduct spiritual rituals. By 1978, the once-underground Sun Dance on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation had gone public and was flourishing (in 2014, more than 50 separate Sun Dances took place on this reservation alone).  In California, the Yurok Jump Dance was reinstated on the upper Klamath River in 1984; the sacred White Deerskin Dance followed in the year 2000.

Shoot out at Oglala
Shoot out at Oglala

 New controversy

The film comes in the midst of a firestorm of controversy generated by American Indian Mafia, a new book written by the FBI Special Agent-in-Charge of the Wounded Knee siege. The book claims the federal judge who acquitted Indian leaders in the Wounded Knee criminal trials was corrupt and it characterizes AIM leaders as “gangsters,” accusing them of complicity in a series of unsolved homicides. The film evaluates the accusations and whether, if true, they tarnish the 1973 gains at Wounded Knee, an incident some experts regard as a turning point in modern Indian history.

Having covered the controversy for 40 years, McKiernan has a professional stake in ensuring the historical record is accurate.  He has strong ties to the Oglala Lakota, who have given him extraordinary access to this story. Unique access to the Yurok tribe has been provided by Willard Carlson, the leading character, whose project has attracted national attention: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/us/yurok-indian-traditions-to-be-revived-in-new-village.html?pagewanted=all

Filming Willard Carlson at the historic jail in present-day Nebraska where the legendary Lakota warrior Crazy Horse was held in 1876 before he was killed.
Filming Willard Carlson at the historic jail in present-day Nebraska where the legendary Lakota warrior Crazy Horse was held in 1876 before he was killed.

Carlson's involvement at Wounded Knee was followed by his participation in the fishing wars on the Yurok reservation, which helped win the tribe key rights on the Klamath River. The film tells the story of his struggle with addiction, family losses and, finally, his personal redemption.

After shooting some 100 hours of footage over three years, we are anxious to begin post-production. If this Kickstarter is successful, we can complete the film in nine months!

The director's bio is listed above, in the "About You" section.

AIM leader Russell Means, medicine man Wallace Black Elk and Lakota leader Pedro Bisonnette
AIM leader Russell Means, medicine man Wallace Black Elk and Lakota leader Pedro Bisonnette

And now, please meet the other members of the team:

Assistant Producer: Jack Norton

Jack Norton is is an enrolled member of the Yurok tribe and an Emeritus Professor of Native American Studies at Humboldt State University. Professor Norton was the first California Indian to be appointed to the Rupert Costo chair in American Indian History at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author of several seminal works on Native American history and culture, including Genocide in Northwestern California: When Our Worlds Cried (1979, 1997), A Teacher’s Source Book on Genocide (1998), Natasha Goes to the Brush Dance (2000), Brave from Thunders (2003), and Centering in Two Worlds: Essays on Native Northwestern California History, Culture and Spirituality (2007).

Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler (with McKiernan)

Haskell Wexler,  A.S.C., has photographed a wide range of films that have earned him five Academy Award nominations and two Oscars for Best Cinematography. As a director, Wexler is best known for two features, Medium Cool, a ground breaking film shot during the Democratic convention in Chicago, and Latino, shot in Nicaragua, which received a special honor at the Cannes Film Festival. Both films broke the mold of conventional storytelling by using the immediacy of documentary-style filmmaking. Wexler has directed over 50 documentaries, rock videos and award-winning commercials, including The Bus, Bus II, and Bus Riders Union, Introduction to the Enemy (shot in Vietnam), Interview with My Lai Veterans, which also won an Academy Award, No Nukes (with Barbara Kopple), and Target Nicaragua: Inside a Secret War. Wexler helped shoot McKiernan’s Good Kurds, Bad Kurds and his film Bringing King to China. www.haskellwexler.com

Risks and challenges

WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY GO?

Please help us tell the story.

Here are some of the expenses your gift will cover: professional editor, assistant editor, researcher, graphics compositor, music composer to write and perform the original score, studio rental, archival photo and footage costs, colorist, audio mix, on-line costs and E&O insurance (required for broadcast). If this Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will complete the film in nine months.

OUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO DATE

Underwritten by grant assistance and our own funds, the film project was launched in early 2012. After shooting 100 hours of footage on three reservations and conducting interviews in five states, we've captured our story and are eager to begin post-production.

WHAT ABOUT THE RISKS?

Our team has an excellent track record in making films about social movements, getting them selected by national and international film festivals, and having them broadcast on television.

WHAT IF WE RAISE MORE THAN $60,000?

As you know, Kickstarter differs from other crowd-sourcing campaigns because of its "all or nothing" challenge. That's good for donors, as it builds confidence that a given project has the budget it needs to succeed--well before anyone's pledge is cashed.

For the filmmakers, it's a big risk.

If we come up just a dollar short of the stated goal of $60,000, we receive nothing--and all the pledges are returned to the donors.

If we exceed our goal (we can dream, right?), we will use whatever is left over to promote wider distribution, including submitting our film to festivals and holding special showings for diverse audiences.

Please reach out with whatever you can afford. Help us cross the finish line!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You will receive special thanks on Facebook and the website of WOUNDED KNEE: A LINE IN THE SAND.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    35 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    You will receive an actual hard-copy DVD of the completed film (expected release 2015), plus a special thanks on Facebook and the website of WOUNDED KNEE: A LINE IN THE SAND.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    162 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You will receive a high-definition, digital download of the completed film (expected release 2015) ) and special thanks on Facebook and the website of WOUNDED KNEE: A LINE IN THE SAND.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    89 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    In addition to the rewards listed above, you will receive a high quality, downloadable film festival poster created for the film, a personal “thank you” call from Director Kevin McKiernan and a DVD copy of McKiernan's award-winning 2011 film BRINGING KING TO CHINA (bringingkingtochina.com), signed by the director.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    37 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SIGNED ARCHIVAL PRINT! In addition to the rewards listed above, you will receive this special premium: an 8X10 signed archival print of a photograph taken by Kevin McKiernan during the Siege of Wounded Knee in 1973 (many of these photos have been published in national magazines; some are in museum collections). McKiernan will select your print from the photo collection, which is accessible at this link:
    https://vimeo.com/63594655
    Password NPR
    Finally, you will receive DVD copies of two of Director Kevin McKiernan’s award-winning films: BRINGING KING TO CHINA (bringingkingtochina.com) and GOOD KURDS, BAD KURDS (kevinmckiernan.com), both signed by the director.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SIGNED ARCHIVAL PRINTS! In addition to the rewards listed above, you will receive two separate, signed 8X10 archival prints of photographs taken by Kevin McKiernan during the Siege of Wounded Knee in 1973. McKiernan will select your prints from the photo collection, which can be accessed at this link:
    https://vimeo.com/63594655
    Password: NPR

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    PASS THE POPCORN!
    In addition to the rewards listed above, you will receive two tickets to the film festival premiere of WOUNDED KNEE: A LINE IN THE SAND (travel expenses not provided). You will be invited to the after-film party and introduced to the filmmakers and Yurok tribal member Willard Carlson, the protagonist in the film.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    PASS THE POPCORN AND THE CANDY!
    In addition to the rewards listed above, you will be publicly acknowledged as a film sponsor during the audience Q&A and you will be invited to the after-film party, where you will be recognized and introduced to the filmmakers and to Yurok tribal member Willard Carlson, the protagonist in the film. You will also receive a CD copy of Kevin McKiernan's 65-minute audio documentary, WOUNDED KNEE EPILOGUE, which was awarded a first place award in 1974 for Excellence in National Reporting.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT! In addition to the rewards listed above, you will receive a screen credit as an Associate Producer of the film. Your name will appear on the DVD, in all film festival screenings and in all versions of the film submitted for television broadcast. You will also receive, if you choose, a two-hour meeting with Director Kevin McKiernan via Skype or in person in his Santa Barbara studio (travel expenses not provided). If interested, you will receive filmmaking advice, critiques of your own project and inside information on the nuts and bolts of making of an award-winning documentary. You will have the opportunity to view the Rough Cut and to participate in discussions.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    YUROK VILLAGE: In addition to the rewards listed above, Willard Carlson, the protagonist in the film, will give you a personal tour of Ah Pah, the traditional village he’s building on the Yurok reservation in northern California, including a boat ride on the beautiful Klamath River (travel expenses not provided). Please see New York Times story on Willard and the Ah Pah village (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/us/yurok-indian-traditions-to-be-revived-in-new-village.html?pagewanted=all

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT! In addition to all the rewards listed above (and our life long gratitude (!), you will receive credit as an Executive Producer of the film and a profile creation on IMBd. You’ll also be invited to go to lunch with Director Kevin McKiernan and legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler in Los Angeles (travel expenses not provided). Finally, Director Kevin McKiernan will travel anywhere in the U.S. to give you, your school, organization, or business a private screening of WOUNDED KNEE: A LINE IN THE SAND.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (36 days)