Holy Man is the story of Douglas White, an 88 year old Lakota Sioux medicine man from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, who spent 17 years in federal prison for a crime he did ...
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Holy Man is the story of Douglas White, an 88 year old Lakota Sioux medicine man from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, who spent 17 years in federal prison for a crime he did not commit. During the making of this film, filmmakers uncovered new evidence of White's innocence and brought the case back to Federal Court. Holy Man offers a rare glimpse into the mysterious world of Lakota religion, their intimate connection to the land, and a provocative expose of the systemic injustice that Native Americans face in the criminal justice system.Written by
Village Voice review of Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas White
This Year's DocuWeeks Festival makes a strong case for real life
By Ernest Hardy
Director Jennifer Jessum's Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas White illustrates complex issues through the story of an individual. White—a revered medicine man on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota—is falsely accused of child molestation, and even when mountains of evidence attest to his innocence, the court system refuses to release him. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film puts White's legal battle in the context of historical and ongoing racism against Native Americans that has resulted in legacies of poverty, alcoholism, and the highest suicide rate in the country. It's engrossing but infuriating viewing, and when a white government worker says point-blank, "The federal judicial system and all its accoutrements are on the backs of the Indians," it's impossible to argue otherwise.
The Village Voice
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