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The Thick Dark Fog (2011)

A Lakota child attended a government boarding school where his Native identity was suppressed. Now he's reclaiming all that he lost.


Randy Vasquez


Paul Freedman
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Walter Littlemoon Walter Littlemoon ... Himself
Manuel Yellow Horse Jr. Manuel Yellow Horse Jr. ... Young Walter
Joyce Ferrer Joyce Ferrer ... Walter's Mother


Walter Littlemoon attended a federal Indian boarding school in South Dakota sixty years ago. The mission of many of these schools in 1950, was still to "kill the Indian and save the man." The children were not allowed to be Indians - to speak their language or express their culture or native identity in any way at the risk of being severely beaten, humiliated or abused. What effects did these actions cause? Many Indians, like Walter, lived with this unresolved trauma into adulthood, acting it out through alcoholism and domestic violence. At age 58, Walter decided to write and publish his memoirs as a way to explain his past abusive behaviors to his estranged children. But dealing with the memories of his boarding school days nearly put an end to it. "The Thick Dark Fog" tells the story of how Walter confronted the "thick dark fog" of his past so that he could renew himself and his community. Written by Randy Vasquez and Jonathan Skurnik

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Release Date:

5 November 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

High Valley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The documentary went from 1 main character to 4, then back to 1. See more »

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User Reviews

Accurate and well done documentary of Native American Experience
31 October 2012 | by denverbarndudeSee all my reviews

I happened upon this one hour documentary on my local PBS CH-12 in Denver and was completely absorbed. Half of my family were either in Indian boarding schools or lived on reservations, mostly in Oklahoma. I've heard many of my Uncles telling of their treatment at these places but they always told their stories haltingly. Now I see why. I don't want to go into much detail, especially as my amateur writing would not do justice to the film-makers. I can mention that it tells the story of one man's redemption from his painful experiences away from his family at an Indian boarding school. At such a place, the children are subjected to strict disciplinary actions including mental and physical abuse. One comment from one interview said it all: We were told not to be an Indian. Be White. My relatives did mention this when we spoke of these things. I recommend this film highly for its content and storytelling.

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