A Film by Beth Gage & George Gage
56 minutes, color, English, 2008
American Outrage is part of The Human Rights Watch Collection.
Two feisty Western Shoshone sisters put up a heroic fight for their land rights - and their human rights.
Carrie and Mary Dann endure terrifying roundups by armed federal marshals in which thousands of their horses and cattle are confiscated, for the crime of grazing them on the open range outside their private ranch - even though that range is part of 60 million acres recognized as Western Shoshone land by the U.S. After the government sued them for trespassing, their dispute went to the Supreme Court, and eventually the United Nations.
Why has the U.S. spent millions persecuting and prosecuting two elderly women grazing a few hundred horses and cows in a desolate desert? The Dann sisters say the real reason is the resources hidden beneath this seemingly barren land, their Mother Earth: it is the second largest gold producing area in the world.
This “eloquent testament to the courage of the Dann sisters” is “an important document for those who want to understand the ongoing resistance of Native peoples to U.S. colonialism in Indian country” (Eric Cheyfitz, Director of the American Indian Program, Cornell University).
"Masterful storytelling, beautiful cinematography, and unforgettable characters. A truly exceptional human rights film whose message and impact will reverberate for years to come."- John H. Biaggi, Director, Human Rights Watch Int'l Film Festival
"A must-see documentary for its message that the United States acquisition of tribal lands under the guise of legality continues today."
"Beautifully evocative yet morally disturbing. Breathtaking footage."
"A powerful testament to Indian self-determination and women-power. The Dann sisters deserve our utmost respect." - Michael Smith, Founder and Director, American Indian Film Festival
"American Outrage is a film that will remain not only relevant but essential for decades."
● Bonus Short Film