About the Film
The Battle for Whiteclay
Directed & Produced by Mark Vasina
Edited by Alex Moscu & Mark Vasina
The State of Nebraska’s refusal to halt alcohol sales to the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from its border town of Whiteclay gets an in-depth look in this new documentary about a century-old problem. Four off-sale beer stores in this 14-person hamlet sell over 11,000 cans of beer a day to an Indian clientele with virtually no legal place to drink it. Struggling with crippling poverty and epidemic alcohol abuse that afflicts 4 out of 5 families, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has for decades banned the sale and possession of alcohol on their reservation.
The Battle for Whiteclay follows Indian activists Frank LaMere, Duane Martin Sr. and Russell Means through the streets of Whiteclay to the halls of Nebraska’s State Capitol in their efforts to end alcohol sales in the place many have dubbed “skid row on the prairie.” Here is an inside look at an important contemporary conflict pitting American Indian rights against state and local governments in the United States.
The Battle for Whiteclay was awarded Best Political Documentary at the 2009 New York International Independent Film Festival.
A Glass Onion Film:
Original Music by Canupa Gluha Mani & Michael Murphy