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Standing Silent Nation

Standing Silent Nation

Director:Suree Towfighnia
Release Date:2006

By Christopher Skokna | Posted 11/14/2007

The makers of Standing Silent Nation have a story for the ages and know what to do with it. A family of Lakota Native Americans seem to have found a way to make a living on their impoverished reservation: planting industrial hemp. But the Drug Enforcement Administration and federal courts are having nothing of it. The family%uFFFDs hard-working elders--the laconic but strident Ramona White Plume and the chilled-out, wry Alex White Plume--could carry this movie on their personalities alone, but the filmmakers%uFFFD shots of landscapes and family and tribal scenes greatly help to ground this hourlong documentary. And the archival footage of DEA agents ripping up what looks like any farmer%uFFFDs crops provides black levity. Some more skepticism would be nice, however. Not about the feds%uFFFD heavy-handedness on supposedly sovereign territory--the ridiculousness of that is obvious and needs no rebuttal--but about whether or not the White Plumes%uFFFD scheme would actually work if allowed to go forward.

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