Neither Wolf Nor Dog (2016) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
58 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
9/10
Poignant Adaption - Neither Wolf Nor Dog
mccoyj-604385 September 2016
I've watched the movie more than once. It is a powerful adaptation of the book(s) and carries the mood of the old ways, the traditions of the elders and the history we all share with Indigenous Peoples. I loved the pace and feel of the movie, the landscapes are as beautiful as I remember them. Life on the Reservation and the beautiful Black Hills are captured here. The powerful historical "Wounded Knee" is presented in all of it's poignant significance. I highly recommend the books and this powerful adaptation. All of the actors and Steven Lewis Simpson adeptly portrayed the vision that Kent Nerburn shared in his eloquent writings.

Beautifully done!
13 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Mystic and poetic, pure magic truth
mimi_schaefer5 September 2016
This film is based on a book by the same name; authored by the beautifully poetic Kent Nerburn. If you've never read his books, it's a must if you enjoy language blessed with deep meaning. The mingling of Nerburn's writing and the native perspective brings a subtle magic and spirituality to life. The layers of sound and silence, the mystical heritage and sensitive souls of the people in the books and this film make this viewing experience one of the richest you'll ever feel. Because of the sublime transference from book to film, both quiet and powerful, your heart and mind will expand. The movie is true to the original. AND while entertaining, the best feature of this film is the message. There's a valuable and not-so-hidden message which exposes a point of view seldom revealed. Neither Wolf Nor Dog is a cultural gem that everyone can relate to. The film adds important punctuation to American language in that diversity of thought, speech and act can crossover the borders of tribal lands and make a place in all our daily lives through increased awareness and sensitivity to the knowledge and experience of our oldest people. Cherish this film. Watch it over and over again. Share it. Read Nerburn's other books as they are purity and magic together.
12 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
An excellent piece of work!!!
davidrose-1587424 July 2016
Steven Lewis Simpson and Kent Nerburn did a great job with creating this film. When I saw the Kickstarter campaign for the film I felt the need to back this project and support indie film makers that put their heart and soul into their projects. I can see from watching the film that Steven Lewis Simpson and Kent Nerburn did just that!!! I'm really impressed with how Steven Simpson captured the beautiful landscape of South Dokota on film. I viewed the film as a journey for the three main characters. Dave Bald Eagle who played Dan spoke volumes with his eyes and I could see that he carried a heavy burden on his shoulders. I felt Dan needed to unload the pent up emotions by having Christopher Sweeney's character Kent Nerburn to tell his story.
12 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A movie everyone should see!
tshoch9 August 2016
I was a part of the kickstarter campaign and was lucky enough to see an advance screening. Having been a huge fan of the book I was eagerly waiting to see this movie and it did not disappoint!

All of the actors did a wonderful job bringing the characters in the book to life on the big screen! David Bald Eagle was masterful! Looking into his eyes you could tell he is wise beyond his years with a hint of mischief. No one on this planet could have played Dan except David Bald Eagle.

This movie should be required watching for every person and I highly recommend it!
16 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
What a blessing to have watched this movie
raymie-0846426 June 2016
Amazing movie, Went to see it today at the film festival and truly touching, and moving movie. Having read all three of Kent's novels beginning with Neither Wolf nor Dog and Russell Means autobiography, this does not cover up the true pain that our fellow human beings of Native America have endured. The acting was out of this world and left me feeling emotional after the movie. I really admire how the film captured the true humor Native Americans have.

Well done Steven and the team for such a touching couple of hours as I was transported back to the novel and to get a gasp of some of the life my fellow Native American have.

Feeling yuwakape
15 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Neither Wolf Nor Dog - Excellent Film, Excellent Book
kerry-vincent5 September 2016
Director Steven Lewis Simpson respectfully, lovingly, carefully created a film that stays true to Kent Nerburn's book, but is also its own amazing creation. The perfect cast, particularly Dave Bald Eagle, who brings the Native elder Dan to life, with his sense of humor, and his tears for his people, with balance and grace, never becoming maudlin, but never shying away from the truth either.

Seeing the film I felt like I had a true glimpse of present day Native life, and another glance at what America has lost.

This is a remarkable film, especially knowing it was shot in just a few days on a threadbare shoestring budget with a handful of actors and crew - and yet every minute is so meaningful and alive.

The message that we can still help one another and work together to provide a beautiful world for our children's children has never been more needed....thank you to all involved for the reminder, which could save our lives and our planet, "We are all connected".
13 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Exceptional film adaptation of a very important book
LCBoniti18 July 2016
Having been a huge fan of Kent Nerburn's book, I have been eagerly awaiting this film adaptation for quite some time. I admit I was concerned about how the message of the book would be conveyed in a film without being too "preachy". It's one thing to read Nerburn's beautiful prose coming out of the mouth of the elder, Dan, but how would that come across in a film?

Well, I worried needlessly. Steven Lewis Simpson and Kent Nerburn collaborated to write a screenplay that, while adjusting to necessary film adaptation, has retained the message and the flavor of the original and is the beautiful, moving film I had hoped it would be.

The acting of every single actor is superb – it really would not have been the same with any one of them replaced with another. In particular, Christopher Sweeney as Nerburn and Richard Ray Whitman as Grover are exceptional. Zahn McClarnon's all-too-brief appearance is electric. And words are not sufficient to acclaim the work of Dave Bald Eagle. He is truly a treasure.

I highly recommend this film not only because the message is one that needs to be heard, but also because the film itself is extremely well-made and showcases the beauty of the country that is South Dakota. Well done to all participants – you should be proud of this fine work.
12 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Captures the essence and spirit of the book
everetthornbostel10 November 2016
The book was recommended to me several years ago and I devoured every word. Words cannot begin to express the feelings and thoughts that engulfed me throughout this film. It is an excellent representation of the book. Of course it doesn't portray the entirety of the book, that would take far too long. The spirit of Dan's teachings from the book is definitely felt in this film adaptation. The emotion that is shown in the film doesn't feel like acting. I cannot imagine a better adaptation of a book. It is a slow moving film, but I don't think the purpose is to provide an action packed entertainment opportunity. The book certainly isn't. To wrap this rambling up, this film most certainly captures the essence and spirit of the book.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Great adaptation of the book!
mtnsnowave25 July 2016
I was excited to hear this book was going to be made into a movie, although it took quite a while to get to this point. I joined the Kickstarter program and help funded it, thus I was able to screen it along with just a few others before it's official release.

Simpson does a fantastic job adapting th version of the book to the big screen. The acting was great, and the cinematography was outstanding. I thought the script was very good too, but I felt it could have used a few more of the 'impactful scenes' in the book to have a touch more profoundness...(not that the ones in the movie don't)... but I understand, there's only so much you can take from a book and put into a 2 hour movie. Those are tough decisions to make, and overall.. it a great job was done!

All in all, this was a great movie, especially considering the timeframe/budget that they had to work with. Thanks Steven for putting your heart and soul into this and making it happen. You did a wonderful job.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Once In A Lifetime
garytheantenco19 July 2016
Finally! The film is alive! After having waited in unsettled anticipation, "Neither Wolf nor Dog" is complete and the wait was far beyond worth it.

From the moment we originally viewed the prospective trailer, we knew this project was special; after having discovered the Kickstarter campaign we knew we had to contribute what we could. We were being spoken to, from where we're not sure. Now, we've had the benefit of a special screening of the finished movie. It's not possible to find the words to express the impact on both our minds and Spirits, on our Beings! The story begins slowly, almost plodding, yet gradually intensifies to a magnificent crescendo produced by Dave Bald Eagle's powerful and penetrating soliloquy so surprising in its intensity that it literally sweeps over you. It is at precisely that point that the full meaning of it all crashes down creating the intense emotions that only facing such truth can produce.

The story behind "Neither Wolf nor Dog" was expertly interpreted by all of the cast, the cinematography skillfully executed, the scenes and setting masterfully selected, the editing beyond professional. In short it is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences and we've been so blessed to have had a small part in its creation.

Please see it when it comes to a theater near you. It's a story that needs telling by people who deserve the recognition.
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
As Good As It Gets
dirtypuppy822 February 2017
Heart.

That's what exudes from this film.

It's a movie told with love and you can see all the hard work and passion because it's right up there on the screen.

The novel, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, is one of my favorite books. Not only did I enjoy the story but I GREW from the story. It opened me up in ways that few pieces of literature have ever done before.

And this film is no different.

It the perfect accompaniment to the novel.

Because it gets right what so many adaptations get wrong - it matches the novel's heart rather than duplicate its story.

I honestly can't see how this film could be any better.

Go see it. Watch yourself grow too.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Wonderful movie!
BuffySyd3516 February 2017
I heard from two dear friends about the Kickstarter to get this movie made and the rest is history, as they say. I received my Blu-ray of the movie a few weeks ago and was finally able to sit down and watch it. It is a wonderful film that compliments the wonderful book. If you liked the book at all this is a must watch!

It starts off slowly, but that is to be expected and in doing so the film draws you into the world subtly. This is the second movie I have watched in the last several months that made me feel like I was watching a documentary more than a movie (the other movie was Loving). Everything felt so real! I felt like a fly on the wall simply watching Dan, Grover, and Nerburn. They felt like real people and not actors. The music, cinematography, use of sound, all of it coalesced to create this real world. It almost seemed like if I talked they would all be able to hear me.

I love movies and have several that engross me every time I watch, but only a select few (this and Loving) have hit me with how subtle and yet how very real they were. Watching this made the book come to life in a truly real way and it was wonderful. The slow pace worked perfectly as, like the book, you want to soak it all in and really hear and absorb what is going on and being talked about. Just like the book it leaves a lasting impression that ripples far beyond the end credits.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A peek inside of true life
michael_benson27 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
True and Authentic it is a great movie it's the best movie on Native Americans Since Dances with Wolves and I Am Native American and it tells a true story of life on the Rez and the toughness, heartache, Trauma, and Humor, it pulls you in I bought the BLU Ray and when it comes out in theaters I will still go see it and I recommend it to all my friends and family now as a native American that says a lot as we can be very critical about stories or movies on us, so I believe in this movie and it's creator that much. check your local theaters, if you don't see it ask them about it and if it comes to your theaters, it is worth every bit of money you spend on it will not disappoint you, Welcome to Our World.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Awesome Movie
veeandjames23 January 2017
This was an awesome movie, it captured the essence of life on Pine Ridge. This was a story you can learn something from, no matter what walk of life you are from. It brings back Native Americans back as real in depth characters instead of the crap we have been seeing on main stream movies for years. If you are not native, it will introduce you to problems today's Native people face and troubles they still face such as poverty, ignorance, and the US Government. Definitely up there with other great Native American movies. It was also great to see a Lakota Elder tell his story before he left us, his performance cannot be properly put into words. I have family on the Rez and watching this movie felt like being back there, from the landscape to the personalities.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Great Contemporary Film, a lot of subtle Indian humor
harrisjoe-5973010 March 2017
Great film and one of the best modern day Indian movies I've seen in a long while. Has some great subtle Indian humor. Richard does a great job as Grover. My condolences to Dave Bald Eagle family. He did a fantastic role as the wise old man. Kudos to the producer and all the actors. A job well done. Steven Simpson is a pro. Highly recommend the viewing. Many are clamoring in Oklahoma wanting to purchase DVD. Just fortunate that I contributed in the Kickstarter. I encourage you purchase the special edition when it becomes available. You won't regret it.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
This movie touched my soul...
ncstewart-2962027 February 2017
I read the book and it moved me deeply. When I heard that it was being made into a movie I was very excited to have this story shared in that medium. I hoped the movie would do the book justice, I was not disappointed, it is true in every way to the novel. This film is very timely with what is happening with Native Americans today. This is a story that needed to be told, don't miss it!
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
David Bald Eagle gives stellar performance as Dan.
pfurshong27 February 2017
Being a huge fan of the book, the movie brought out additional nuggets in the story. I have read and reread the book finding new material in each read. Nerburn does a magical job of sharing his experience as a non-native in a native world.

Like the book, there were moments that I found myself laughing out-loud one minute and shedding a tear the next. This was a beautiful tribute to the Lakota community.

Would love to see the next two books on the big screen.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Very Relevant Film to See For The Times We Live In Now . . .
karynbishophenry26 February 2017
The Film, "Neither Wolf Nor Dog", Requires You to Approach It's Telling on Foot. Not in the usual Frenzied-Fast Feeding Entertainment Style that Keeps One Comfortable. There is a Certain Unease that Comes from Slowing Down One's Pace. It Changes One's Attention. One Walks Within the Story and Is Not a Vacant Bystander.

The Depths of the South Dakota Land: The Drifting of Prairie Grasses, Sky and Clouds, Harsh Rain, Insect and Bird Songs, Prairie Dog Chatter, The Metal Pump Handle's Clang, Rock and Hills, and the Persistent Wind Stand Prominent in the Film. The Land is not the Backdrop but Where you place your feet and are Summoned into the Lives of Dan, A Lakota Elder, (Dave Bald Eagle) and Kent Nerburn (Christopher Sweeney). "Neither Wolf Nor Dog" is Honest, Awkward, Painful, Humorous, Reflective and Ultimately An Education of the Human Heart and Hopefully Our Hearts Also.

To Kent Nerburn & Steven Lewis Simpson: You, "Got It Just Right!"
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A glimpse of lives "we" never see
sandbergpete26 February 2017
I've been looking forward to seeing this for a few years, with some slight hesitation.

Why? I could not imagine an actor that could portray Dan. Others maybe, but not him. It turns out the casting of all is perfect, but Dave Bald Eagle transcends acting, or role playing, and becomes Dan.

Another why... I had a hard time imagining how a screenplay could capture the themes of stillness and quiet that permeate the Kent Nerburn novel. It is every bit as much about place, the land, as it is the people, and the land is so open that almost the only sound is the wind.

During our screening not one person left the room, we never saw a phone screen light up, and no one even stirred until several seconds after the credits ended.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Beautiful and honest film about whites, indians, American history and humanity.
katiecarter-7939726 February 2017
Neither Wolf Nor Dog was published back in the early 1990s. I'm still moved by the experience of watching it go from page form to film form two nights ago. It was perfect. I found myself frozen in my seat through the credits with my eyes welled up from emotions for so many reasons.

If you are a human who cares about humans, check it out. For people like me who grew up in South Dakota and now live in other areas, you'll want to check it out. For anyone who wants to learn more about the Native/European relationship, watch it. Just do. You don't need to read the book first, just find a way to watch it - at a theater or online. It's real. It's beautiful and it's honest. It's native and white. It's learning about learning about anyone you might view as "other" and particularly, of course, it's about the complicated relationships between Native people and those of European descent. I was anxious going into the theater. Knowing the book, I hoped it would be beautiful and powerful, but I was worried about the filmmaker - what if he screwed it up?!

... He didn't...It was better than I had ever imagined it could be. I grew up in South Dakota. That's where it takes place. The sounds, the land, the cars, the truth of filming of the South Dakota setting was profound to me. It took me right there - the gravel roads, the prairie, the rolling hills, the badlands, the shacks, the random, small museum in a near ghost town, the sounds of grasshoppers! - it's all there. You're right there in the midst of so much honesty.

The honesty of the story telling in the film is so gorgeous and heartbreaking and, at times, humorous - it's powerful. The truth of characters and the acting was profound. As it needed to be.

This story, having made its way out into the world again, for new and repeat audiences, morphed from paper to film media, is the kind of story that changes people - sometimes subtly, sometimes profoundly.

Grateful it's out in the media maelstrom again! When media makes a positive impact on the world, that's media to value. I every audience member left the theater as better person than they were before viewing the film.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
My New Favorite Film
KellyD63176 February 2017
I just saw this movie last night and like a lot of people it touched me in ways I never expected. Everyone in the film seems to be a natural for the character they play. The scenery is beyond beautiful and it also makes the film more real. At times I really felt like I was back on the prairie myself. The most meaningful thing for me about it was how genuine it all was. From the relationships among the characters to the way the story tells the truth about U.S. history. There are lot's of lessons to be learned from this movie. Chief Dave Bald Eagle's performance alone makes it a treasure. His humor and magnetism shine throughout. How lucky we are to always have that.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Poignant Story of Strength and Wisdom
joylynnfox6 February 2017
After waiting since the beginning of filming on Pine Ridge, I received my copy as a backer of the film. Long anticipated, Neither Wolf Nor Dog written by Kent Nerburn, was a respectful and authentic work of art on film. True history brought to life by Dan, played by Dave Bald Eagle. Nerburn's character by Christopher Sweeney, accurately portrayed the uninformed white man's way of thinking. Films and books like these will inform us, so that we are able to understand the traumas that were inflicted upon Native people. Never again should we repeat abuse or atrocities like boarding schools and Wounded Knee. Much respect for Steven Lewis Simpson, the cast and crew that brought true history forward.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A wonderful insightful movie
prplerain5 February 2017
Neither Wolf Nor Dog is a story of a white man who is sort of reluctantly recruited to help an old Native American man write a book. But it's really about so much more than that.

I was a bit worried this might be another "white savior" film about Native Americans but rest assured it is anything but!

The way that reservation life is depicted, and the cluelessness the white man has about that culture, really gives a levity to the story. As a non-savior white person who used to work on a reservation I thought the filmmaker really nailed the tempo and rhythms of res life.

But just when you are sort of rolling along being amused by the white man fish-out-of-water the movie reveals its purpose and it is profound and moving. I really recommend watching this. Especially if you are white.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Low budget, high quality - Great movie
leovankints27 January 2017
It is unbelievable what Steven Lewis Simpson and his actors achieved. Such a small budget, such a small crew and what a magnificent film. It is a film for people who want to learn more about the life of Native Americans. Not about the stereotypical history – warriors whit war bonnets, tomahawks and peace pipes - but about normal daily life, the struggle to survive, the anger, the questions and so on. Kent Nerburn, the author of the book 'Neither Wolf nor Dog', is asked by an old Indian – Dan – to write his life story. From that moment Kent finds himself in a different world. He is taken by Dan and his friend Grover on a road trip on which Kent learns a lot about the way Indian people think and act. It is not only a serious movie, there also is a lot of humor in it. If you read the book, you will recognize a lot in it, if not sit back, relax and enjoy. You will love it.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A poignant tale brightened by sparks of humor
polson-131 December 2016
I had the opportunity to see this film at a special showing this summer. I was floored. You can't watch this unvarnished, real-life tale without being moved. The overriding theme is how can two quite different cultures learn, first of all, to listen to each other and then move towards empathy and true communication. Sometimes painful, sometimes angering, often wryly humorous, "Neither Wolf Nor Dog" should be required viewing – by whites, not as a guilt trip but as a revelation, and by Native Americans, as evidence that their white brothers and sisters can, at least, begin to understand. See. This. Film.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed