Indian Country

Haskell Mentioned In Movie​ ​Adaptation ​Of​ ​Award-Winning ​Native​ ​American​ ​Novel “Neither​ ​Wolf​ ​Nor​ ​Dog”​ ​Opening​ ​At​ ​Liberty​ ​Hall

By Travis Campbell

Students, staff, and faculty at Haskell will have the unique opportunity of attending Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson’s film adaptation of Kent Nerburn’s 1994 novel, Neither Wolf Nor Dog. Shot over the course of 18 days on location, Neither Wolf Nor Dog tells the story of the book’s author, Nerburn (Played by Christopher Sweeney), as he travels Lakota Country with 95-year old Dan (David Bald Eagle). Dan has summoned Nerburn to visit Lakota Country in order to show him the reality of life for the Lakota without guilt or clichés. Dan’s reason for bringing this outsider in, is to help him turn his compiled writings into a book he can leave behind for future generations.

According to Simpson, Haskell features in the story in a large, yet subtle way. Simpson explained that “When Dan meets the writer, Kent Nerburn, for the first time it is mentioned that his son, who has passed on, graduated from Haskell. Then, at the climax of the scene after he’s challenged Nerburn to write a book based on his thoughts, the elder says:  ‘make it sound like I went to Haskell.’ Later in the film we find out in a deeper way the symbolism this has for Dan.”

Described for over twenty years as “the great unmade Native American novel” Neither Wolf Nor Dog is the culmination of over seven years of work between Simpson and Nerburn. Showing the beauty, tragedy, humor and power of Lakota people, Neither Wolf Nor Dog has been described as “Unforgettable.” and currently has an 8.4/10 rating on imdb.com and 4.8 out of 5 on rottentomatoes.com.

When asked why it was of particular importance that the film be made available to the Haskell community, Simpson stated “I had been trying for months to bring the film to a theatre near Haskell. It has been a great priority of mine since the beginning to make sure that the film was as widely available to Native communities as possible, and this has been a great success. Half of the cinemas we opened on when our distribution started were even tribally owned. But as important for me has been for communities close to large Native populations to see it too as Dan speaks directly to them in many ways – and by that I mean Dave Bald Eagle does. The climax at Wounded Knee is all improvised by Dave who had relatives in the massacre. It is so powerful. With many future leaders going to Haskell, it is a joy to be able to have this particular elders perspective shared. Dave was one of the very last of a remarkable era and we will never see their like again.”

This film will be opening at Liberty Hall (644 Massachusetts) on September 8 and will run through September 14. Tickets are available at the Liberty Hall box office.

Friday, September 8th, 2017

1:10 – Main Theater
7:30 – Little Theater

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

1:10 – Main Theater
7:30 – Little Theater

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

1:10 – Main Theater
6:45 – Little Theater
9:30 – Little Theater

Monday, September 11th, 2017

6:45 – Little Theater

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

4:05 – Little Theater
6:35 – Main Theater
8:55 – Little Theater

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

4:05 – Little Theater
6:35 – Main Theater
8:55 – Little Theater

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

1:10 – Main Theater
6:45 – Little Theater

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