Facing the Monster
Given what we’re seeing in the election’s aftermath, photographer-filmmakerLucian Read clearly picked a prescient title for his recent mini-doc series on inequality in the United States: America Divided, which aired on EPIX in October and November, took us to corners of a nation still hurting from the Great Recession — from an addiction-ravaged Rust Belt town reeling from factory closures to New York City, where the housing crisis proved devastating to many Latinos and African Americans.
Premiering here, Read’s latest short film, Mni Wiconi: The Standing at Standing Rock, turns a camera on the plight of Native Americans, a group that has been neglected and wronged perhaps more than any other in this nation. “We were thinking of ways to continue the America Divided project with groups that weren’t included in that series,” Read says. “And I’d especially been thinking about poverty and inequality in Indian country.”
In September, when members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota made national headlines for their protests against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline — which the tribe says interferes with its ancestral land and water rights, Read thought it might be the perfect subject.