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Incident at Oglala - Movie Review Example

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“The Incident of Oglala” is an amazing and heart-rending documentary about a shootout that occurred at Oglala, on the Shady Pine Reservation in South Dakota. The shootout began when two FBI agents entered a part of the native reservation in supposed pursuit of a person who…
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Incident at Oglala
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Download file to see previous pages This film does an excellent job at unpacking exactly what happened on that fateful day in the 1970s, and presenting many sides of the issue, it fails to address the wider concerns of colonization and dehumanization that really plagued the reservation system, and the systemic violence that allows this type of incident to occur, or even worse, encourages them.
This film has many excellent attributes. Probably the best thing about it is that it features heavy use of first person recounts of what happened that day, from everyone involved, including Leonard Peltier, the man eventually (and probably wrongfully) convicted of the murders. This allows the viewer to understand the complexity of the situation, and the emotions that were so prevalent for everyone involved.
This also forms an excellent story telling technique, allowing the audience to see first-hand the he said/she said dynamic that occurred in the aftermath of the shooting, including at trial. This technique demonstrates the impossibility of ever fully knowing what occurred when a violent event happened, and the fact that a balance of contradictory evidence must be sought to render a decision. This also removes the idea, so prevalent in many documentaries, that there is an absolute truth that the documentary is trying to expose. It gives the impression that this documentary is trying to truly unpack what happened, and present all sides of the evidence to the viewer, rather than simply trying to sway their mind. This makes it seem more well rounded than other documentaries like Fahrenheit 911 or Bowling for Columbine, which establish a villain and then try to undermine them.
Another excellent aspect of this documentary is that it does not get tied up in the minutia of what actually happened during the shooting, but moves on to proximate causes of it. Instead of, for instance, spending a great deal of time on the unanswerable question of who shot first, or how the shootout occurred, it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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