QUICK REVIEW: Oyate – Dan Girmus




Directed by Dan Girmus

Review by Devin Negrete

The wind blows through a large, dry grass field filled with nothing but occasional desolate trees. Horses run away as two young boys chase them trying to lasso a rope around their neck. The camera follows, near their feet, running with them. The horses scamper away too fast for the young boys. The dirty shoes and worn out, old clothes give off vibes of old western attire worn by men doing this same thing hundreds of years in the past. We are not even in American anymore, we are on the sovereign land of the pine ridge Indian reservation, located on the very bottom left portion of south Dakota.


The kids get up, eat breakfast, get on the old school bus that heads into their small school at the edge of town. The parents work, get tattoos, explore the landscape, pray. A landscape and a world that stays the same, like a stagnant lake in a place that gets too much rain. The waters are constantly new but with no where to go,  the cycle is the same. This film is more than a simple clique exploration of poverty, this film dives deep into the passions of a dying social rhythm. Drifting in and out like a stranger that becomes a friend overtime, we become family. The same faces popping in out often being mistaken for someone else, you realize a community this large is a family in an impossible level, all bonded by as outsiders from a world so close but so far ahead. A time capsule of a moment that never existed because no one was around to look for it.



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