An 83-minute documentary film on the great American Indian Lakota Sioux Chief, Spiritual Leader and warrior as never before seen in a film.

SITTING BULL: A Stone in My Heart

 

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE STORY:

Born in what is now South Dakota around 1831, Sitting Bull is distinguishes himself early in life, excelling in bravery, fortitude, generosity and wisdom. By the 1850s Native Americans begin to feel the pressure of white expansion and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, causes continued tension.

In the summer of 1876, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and a regiment of the Seventh Cavalry attack members of the Lakota Nation and other tribes along Montana’s Little Bighorn River. An estimated two thousand warriors defeat Custer, killing him and about two hundred fifty of his men.  Shocked by this devastating defeat, the American people demand retribution. Now with even greater force and conviction, the U.S. government begins a relentless pursuit of the Indians in a concentrated effort to drive them into reservations. Sitting Bull and his followers flee to Canada, beyond the reach of the U. S. Army, where they are offered asylum by the Canadians.  Near starvation of Sitting Bull’s people forces him to return four years later and surrender.  On the Reservation he is forced to work in the fields and denied any special privileges that a chief of his standing would normally be accorded.

In 1885, hoping that exposure to the white man’s world will “civilize” him, he is temporarily released from Standing Rock and allowed to perform in a tour of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. His travels and experiences in major eastern cities give him a new perspective. When Sitting Bull returns to Standing Rock, he begins to assert a degree of independence from the Indian agent in charge. Sitting Bull is no longer permitted to perform in any more shows. For a time, he settles into a quiet life with his family.

Hopeless and oppressed, many Indians on the reservation become followers of a Paiute holy man who started a movement called the Ghost Dance. The ritual is perceived as anti-white by the government and efforts are made to discourage reservation Indians from participating.  Fearing Sitting Bull might incite rebellion, the Indian agent orders the Indian police to place Sitting Bull under arrest. On December 15, 1890, they break into Sitting Bull’s cabin. The chief’s followers intervene and a gunfight takes place. Sitting Bull is killed.



                                                                 OFFICIAL SELECTION:

AMERICAN INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL

(San Francisco)

SANTA BARBARA INT'l. FILM FESTIVAL

TIBURON INT'l. FILM FESTIVAL

OJAI FILM FESTIVAL

There are few places to go to get a better spirited picture of his life.           

      -Wild West Magazine

“In John Ferry’s captivating documentary the viewer is yanked head and heart...this is the Sitting Bull few people know.”

    - Carole Levine, NativeVue, Native American Times  and Scene 4 Magazine

“A wonderful job in bringing to life Sitting Bull’s world...what a relief to see him presented as a

human being rather than a stiff cardboard cutout.”

- Eileen Pollack, Author, Woman Walking Ahead,

Paradise, New York,

The Rabbi in the Attic

Told mostly in his own words from speeches and printed interviews Sitting Bull gave and through the use of over 600 vintage photographs and images.


For historical accuracy Lillimar Pictures engaged Robert M. Utley, one of the most respected historians of the American west and author of The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull, and Donald Fixico PhD, Distinguished Professor of American Indian History and prominent Native American, to serve as historical advisors on the film.

WINNER  Two Awards

Fargo Film Festival

SECOND PLACE 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

SECOND PLACE

  NATIVE AMERICAN VOICES

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