Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Synopsis: In the 1880s, after the U. S. Army's defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the government continues to push Sioux Indians off their land. In Washington, D.C., Senator Henry Dawes introduces legislation to protect Native Americans rights. In South Dakota, school teacher Elaine Goodale joins Sioux native and Western-educated Dr. Charles Eastman in working with tribe members. Meanwhile, Lakota Chief Sitting Bull refuses to give into mounting government pressures.
Director(s): Yves Simoneau
Production: Home Box Office (HBO)
  Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 29 wins & 27 nominations.
133 min

There is an Indian proverb...

"It is easy to be brave...

from a distance.

Easy, and often quite safe. "

Once there was

no honor in killing...

only necessity.

Honor came

with true courage.

But that day...

is long gone.


go with the others!

I said, go!


The man was a f***ing idiot.

Splits his forces,

daylight raid, high noon.

An idiot, perhaps,

but he had his orders,

Mr. President.

"Drive the Sioux

out of the Black Hills,

onto the ration rolls... "

so that we could get

to that damn gold.

The Sioux resisted.

Resisted? Bullshit.

They resisted,

General Sherman.

Blocking a roundhouse

to the chin is resistance, Henry.


five companies of cavalry-

I am not defending

their brutality, Mr. President.

The Sioux resisted

because by the '68 treaty

this land is theirs,

and we had no legal-

That treaty was also

only supposed to feed them

for four years,

and yet here we are

eight years later,

and you senators are passing

a million-a-year appropriation

to keep filling their bellies.


To keep them

from starving, General.

And that's all it's done-

made them beggars.

Hasn't advanced them one bit.

- And those smart enough not to sign-

- Do this.

They were attacked

by us first.

And what would you have us do,

Dawes? Cut and run?

Mr. President, this is

a senseless argument.

A senseless argument?

You know what they did

to those men on that hill?

They did things even I've

never seen before.


The survival of the Indian

is your deepest concern, isn't that so?

You know it is.

I thought it was yours.

And it still is.

I appointed an Indian

to the head of Indian Affairs,

I'll remind you.

Another decision that your

colleagues were so fond of.

And another damn knot in the noose

of this administration.

Along with a three-year depression

and a bankrupt treasury.

This isn't about money, gentlemen,

this is about human beings.

And when you make an agreement,

you have a solemn obligation

- to fulfill-

- In spite of this atrocity...

I still believe that setting the Indians

on the course to civilization

best ensures their survival.

Now, do you or do you not agree?

Yes, sir. I do.

Then you can't deny

that there's no saving the Sioux

unless we compel them

to give up their way of life

and settle

on the reservation.

I'll say it till

my tongue bleeds-

If we're ever going to claim

what we bought from the French

and whooped

the Mexicans for,

it's going to mean

killing Indians.


Your father.

Did you win

this feather?


In the fight

at the Little Bighorn.

300 of us were to be hanged.

I killed two whites, but

the Great Father Lincoln saved me.

He sent me to prison

where my heart was made free.

- Free?

- Yes.

Because I have learned

there is another road

that runs beside

the warpath.

A secret road...

only known

to the Christ worshippers.

And you came back,

to make us Christ worshippers?

No. I have come

for my son.

O Lord, grant us the wisdom

and strength

to come to a peaceful accord

with our red brothers

here with us today-

Great Chief

of the Oglala Sioux, Red Cloud,

his head men-

Young Man

Afraid of His Horses,

American Horse, and others.

We beseech you,

O Lord,

in the name of Your son

and our savior Jesus Christ.

- Amen.

- Amen.

I want to know to which god

the White Robe is praying.

The same god whom you deceived

when you made treaty with us

and broke it?

We come to you once again

to negotiate for your rights to the

Black Hills and your old hunting ground.

I am speaking, or has my medicine

made us invisible to you?

If so, you will not notice

when I lead my people out of here,

back to our lands.

I would like to know how many

of Red Cloud's young bucks

were at the Little Bighorn

with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

Those men were hunting,

as the agent permitted.

Indeed they were hunting.

They were hunting

for white scalps.

I am a friend of the Great Father,

President Grant.

And I want to tell you,

he did not wish

for there to be war

between us again.

The Great Father

is the chief of all your people,

chosen by them.

Did he not order

those soldiers to attack?

Yes, it was

the Great Father's order.

But it did not come

from his heart.

Then I don't understand

how you whites do things.

And now you will place

a paper before us that says,

"Give the Black Hills

and your old hunting lands to us

or we will

no longer feed you,

and we will kill Sitting Bull

and all those who continue to fight. "

- Is that not so?

- All right.

Red Cloud has had his say.

This new agreement...

will ensure

your continued support

and a new home at an agency

to be known... as Pine Ridge.

We no longer wish

your support.

We wish to hunt

on the lands

which the treaty

said we may keep.

Only as long as the game abounds.

The game is scarce now.

Because of your hunting

for amusement.

The paper you signed

allows for us to lay rail.

You agreed to this

when you touched the pen.

I touched the pen

because I wanted peace.

For the past eight snows,

my people have been living

like the poorest of whites.

Where are the fine things

you promised?

The kind you lavish on us when you

want our mark on your paper?

Chief Red Cloud,

did you or did you not

sign the paper

and advise your people

to do the same?

Am I invisible now?

I am speaking to you.

Colonel Miles, enough.

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Daniel Giat

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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