2019 / 72 minutes

Directed by
Dan Girmus

This carefully observed film is composed of a series of moments, feelings, gestures, and events that took place on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota during the summer of 2015. The narrative, pieced together from the day-to-day activities of two families and a few other subjects, anchors the audience among the rhythms, sounds, and feelings of everyday life on the reservation. Deftly sidestepping the kinds of negative, issue-based approaches that have so long dominated films set in native spaces, Oyate is nonetheless a deeply political film, as its protagonists reach for purpose in an often difficult world.

In the 2021 RAI Film Fest Main Competition