By Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff
RAPID CITY – The Lakota students at Todd County High School on the Rosebud Reservation took a careful and measured aim at the highly negative and controversial presentation of life on the reservations in South Dakota.
View the film “More Than That” on YouTube.com.
Using the technology available, the students of the Studio One Class led by Kim Bos, the Media and English teacher, along with Heather Hanson, Speech, and Drama and 10th grade English teacher, the students created their own message to send out to the world.
Utilizing a social and media online network, YouTube, the class posted the film, which they entitled “More than that …” on Dec. 12.
At press time, the film has received more than 20,000 viewers, many of whom have left encouraging and congratulatory comments.
According to Hanson, who is a first year teacher, the students had viewed the ABC special, which was titled “Hidden American; The Children of The Plains,” which was promoted as a yearlong look at life on the reservations in South Dakota.
“The students were shown the special here at school, and so many of them were outraged at the negative message portrayed. I told them that they needed to use their own voices, and casually suggested that they do something for their class project,” said Hanson. “They completely ran with the idea, doing all the filming, scripting, editing and acting.”
Bos, who has recent hands on experience in Hollywood in film production, and Hanson assisted only as far as developing the music choice for the piece, as well as suggesting that the film be done in black and white.
The visually stunning film includes a small amount of dialogue with the students determining that their lives on the reservation are more than what a news special, or an internet article reports about them. They wanted the world to know that they are more than just poverty stories, that their lives encompass all the traditional Lakota values their communities have taught them.
The message that the students wanted to send to the world is that they are full of hope and respect and resiliency, and that the poverty that they may or may not live in does not affect the futures that they see for themselves.
(Contact Karin Eagle at firstname.lastname@example.org)