Sidney Has No Horses: Oglala Lakota Medicine Man
The teachings of an intense Lakota Medicine Man reveal modern torment, ancient wisdom, and a link to the spirit world.
The Trailer: Field Production Complete
The film presents the suffering and dark humor of modern people living an indigenous religion in the corporate age. Asking once again if something of great human value has not been lost to our shared, modern existence.
Immersion and Controversy:
Filmmakers Salvatore Consalvi and Brigitte Timmerman have received unprecedented access to Sidney's life, spiritual beliefs, home, and community.
The community was at first hesitant to participate and skeptical of the filmmakers. But Sidney's religious sincerity was never in question by those who know him best. He was captured following the guidance of his ancestors at every step of the way. The following clip displays Sidney's process of respecting his ancestors while passing on Lakota traditions to his grandchildren while revealing them to the modern world.
The documentary reveals both private visions and a rich, holistic world-view that will seem strange, outdated, or even insane. But here we see Sidney willfully opening himself to ridicule and strife in an attempt to preserve his culture for future Lakota and to accurately reveal it to the modern world.
We have enjoyed long hours of both formal and informal interviews. But Sidney and Poxie (Janet Pouier) have also become accustomed to the cameras. These clips are only a few of those available that will supply great cultural texture to a very spiritual storyline.
So the crew has been able to feel and capture life on the reservation from intimate moments of braiding hair to moments of exasperation and anger. From stories of a local rancher using the police to steal a winter's worth of firewood, to visions of famous ancestors, the media the crew has accumulated will present an in-depth look at culture and religion in modern America.
Research: Additional Interviews and Subject Immersion
The team has been attending ceremonies, reading, writing, and interviewing knowledgable people for two years. We have gotten to know many family members, ceremony participants, and cultural experts. The following are excerpts from two of the many recorded interviews that will add depth and understanding to the story.
Encounters and Revelations: Consciousness
The life of a Medicine Man involves frequent shifts of consciousness. In this series of clips Sidney speaks of spirit travel, communication with the spirit world, and the medicinal use of peyote.
For the Lakota and most other indigenous people the conscious universe is far more diverse than the modern mind is willing to accept. In these clips we hear of the Lakota view of kinship which includes the animal and plant nations as well as grandmother earth and grandfather sky.
The crew has experienced evidence of many such shifts of consciousness as Sidney attempts bring ancestral teachings back to a very divisive and fractured community.
Significance: Why this film is important.
In this way the documentary will answers numerous questions still relevant to modern understanding of reality:
How does the modern mind differ from the indigenous mind? Is there a spirit world and do Shamans or Medicine Men and Women remain connected to it? What is kinship with the earth and all its inhabitants? And can we repair the damage done to the earth, to our shared American culture, and to our own modern-psyches?
The filmmakers have thus far explored the relationship with our indigenous neighbors and Sidney has revealed much of what has been lost to the modern experience.
The film will now merge modern science and the mystical experience to emerge with a new understanding of the human experience.
Crew Members: Editors, Writers, Media-Artists, Musicians, Explorers
The filmmakers have built a team that is creating an audio-visual tapestry of indigenous culture and religious identity; of scientific understanding and the mystical experience.
The following clip was the result of the Director having a little self-indulgant fun. Sorry to say we didn't have clips of editors, animators, and other artists; but they are all appreciated.
Production for this project is complete. The passion for the subject and limited personal funds have carried us through two years of work. It has also been a very creative period for all of us resulting in the development of numerous animation, sound, and motion graphics projects that will help to present this story on the emotional plane.
The filmmakers have thus far received a great deal of gracious, pro-bono assistance but we can not expect that for larger projects. It is just too much to ask of people who have been themselves working on their passion.
The sixty plus hours is partially organized, the interviews partially transcribed. We have found an incredible musician for the score and animator for the ancillary stories that can not be filmed (events of consciousness, spirit, and ceremony).
So we are asking you to become a very important part of our team. At any level you will indeed be at our side creating this documentary.
Please join us on this rare journey through deprivation and suffering to the spirituality and pride that connect one indigenous community to its ancestors and the Great Mystery.
Gift Descriptions: Check Website for more details
Designs: We are currently working on four designs and may increase those as the project progresses.
And One Step Further: Leather
We are working with Mended Mosaic who will brand their fine leather products with one of our film icons above.
Original Artwork: Paintings, Sketches, Photographs, Quilts, and more
Our website will be continuously updated with still photographs and photos of available artwork.
Star quilts are traditional gifts between family members and at ceremonial give-aways. Several members of Sidney's extended family do very fine quality work.
All the crew members are avid photographers and have generated a large body of photos that will be available to choose from on our website.
Paintings & Sketches:
Sidney is himself a fine artist and has sold many paintings across the country over the years. The filmmakers encouraged him to paint and sketch his visions and ceremonial themes for use in future animation projects. Many will be made available as gifts.
The Headdress is absolutely not available as a gift !
Gift Photos and Descriptions are continuously being added to our Web Page.
In Case this wasn't long enough . . .
I found a link to our radio interview.
LIVE from the Heartland Cafe, Chicago . . .
And look for an upcoming interview on Inddie Outlook . . .
. . . http://www.facebook.com/IndieOutlook
Film critic Matt Fagerholm of HollywoodChicago.com highlights the latest and greatest in modern independent cinema on his weekly podcast.
Risks and challenges
Our main challenge is time.
In two years we have self-funded the collection of dramatic interviews, cultural sequences, and landscape scenes. We found an incredible editor (Ed Pickart) who is eager to work with the footage. We are working with a talented animator to augment the intangible scenes of spirit travel, visions, and ritual piercing. Our composer (Ron Steele) did an incredible job on the trailer.
We now feel we can depict the holistic mind of an authentic Medicine Man. But we (Director, Producer, Animator, and Editor) need time with the footage to craft the story.
We are certain that all the pieces are in place to produce an incredible portrayal of Sidney and the Modern Indigenous Experience.
But the director having worked full-time without pay for a year is returning to Antarctica to keep going, thus slowing progress.
Editing will require a minimum of 3-6 months full time for the entire crew. But since production ended in June they have been spending their time fundraising in the form of grant-writing, event planning, and this campaign.
However the subject and media deserves our full attention. The risk is that we will not afford the concentrated time with our editor of choice. In that case, we are fearful that the quality of the edit will not reflect the intensity of this story or the Lakota people.
Just look at the difference in the quality of the trailer versus my clip sequences (the Director speaking) and you will understand why we need Ed and all the expert help from those who have thus far shown interest or performed pro-bono work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)