SHADOWTRAIN: UNDER A CROOKED SKY
As filmmakers and musicians, we are excited to apply for the Mountain Film Commitment grant. We want to raise awareness through documentary film and we’d like to leave the world a better place than we found it. We’re driven by compassion, focusing on things we feel is lacking in the world… respect, honor, justice and character.
The sun is setting on a mesa top overlooking ground zero at Wounded Knee. A makeshift rock band called Shadowtrain performs along with colorful ceremonial “ghost dancers” and powerful native drummers. Throughout an odyssey that has concluded here, they have embarked into the dark heart of American history, and of human nature itself.
Shadowtrain: Under a Crooked Sky will help to reveal the vacuous nature of our modern worldview, a philosophy of unrestrained materialism, disconnected from the natural world and supported by militarism. A powerfully blatant message when juxtaposed against the historical world view of indigenous people. Their connection to the earth, their sense of humility and compassion, and their belief that all actions have long lasting consequences, will inspire a re-examination of what our society has become.
The music filled journey begins as renowned guitarist George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), drummer, artist and activist Vinnie Nicastro and a musical band of politically engaged musicians climb into an old station wagon in the southwest desert. They pull a vintage horse trailer, retro-fitted to carry equipment, solar panels, generators and camping gear.
They travel the back roads, searching for a truth that can speak to power. While interacting musically with those they meet, they visit the Apache, Navaho and Hopi reservations in Arizona, Zuni and Tewa in New Mexico, Shoshone in Nevada, Utes in Utah and Colorado and then on to the Dakotas to visit the people and places that were (and still are) the epicenter of conflict between the native peoples and their European conquerors. They will interview descendants of Black Elk, survivors of the Incident at Oglala and Alcatraz, Bureau of Indian Affairs and American Indian Movement (AIM) officials. They meet with native artists, politicians, shaman, on-reservation clergy, authors and activists.
In the final analysis, the film reveals that there is the possibility of a saner, more compassionate and less corrosive way to exist… that instant gratification comes with a high price tag… and that indigenous people have known this both instinctively, and by trial and error, for thousands of years.