November 1, 2013
"A Good Day to Die"
California: AIM West held it's Fourth International Film Festival last month in San Francisco. The featured film was "A Good Day to Die,” a documentary produced by Lynn Salt, Choctaw, and David Mueller.
"A Good Day to Die,” traces the origin of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and provides a poignant view of the 1973 takeover of Wounded Knee. It also traces the life of Dennis Banks and his vast contributions to Indian causes.
Banks co-founded the AIM in 1968 to call attention to the plight of urban Indians in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The film looks at Bank's life beginning with his experience in boarding schools, his military service in Japan, and his transformation at Stillwater State Prison that led to the subsequent founding of AIM.
"A Good Day to Die” includes countless interviews with American Indians and non-Indians. They include actor Wes Studi; Clyde Bellecourt, AIM co-founder; LaDonna Harris; George Tennyson, former US Marshall; among many others.
The documentary film has won six awards and received resounding endorsements by viewers. Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns liked the film so much that he watched it twice and made this comment: "A wonderful, sorrowful, compelling film. From classrooms of fear and forced assimilation, to the climactic standoff at Wounded Knee, it is an essential chapter in the all too infrequently told tale of those who can truly call this continent home."
A Good Day to Die is now available on Netflix and for DVD purchase.
Village © Gina Boltz
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