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.
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