The ancestors of Sioux tribes made predictions about a black snake. They all became real when plans were made for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the sacred lands of Lakota, Nakota and Dakota tribes in North Dakota. The pipeline represents not only a threat to the holy sites and cemeteries of the Sioux, but also to their drinking water, their traditional ways of living, and their whole existence.
The Sacred Stone Camp, on the bank of the Missouri River, becomes the center of the non-violent resistance. During the film, it grows from an undefined group of teepees to a temporary but organized settlement. At the camp, activists, celebrities, environmentalists, and members of other native tribes join the Sioux people in their fight against the pipeline.
The film revolves around four women from the Lakota tribe, for whom this fight is not only a symbolic, but also a personal mission. Their whole history and culture are connected with the territory threatened by the pipeline. They do not intend to let history repeat itself at their people’s expense.
The director Shannon Kring is familiar with native peoples and humanitarian topics. Through her depiction of the Standing Rock community, she does not only unveil the inexistent place of the Sioux in contemporary society, but also the bloodstained history of an oppressed and persecuted people.
Sissi Korhonen (Translation: Aleksi Moine)