Lakota Nation vs. United States

Lakota Nation vs. United States

Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli's documentary "Lakota Nation vs. United States" chronicles the Lakota Indians' enduring quest to reclaim South Dakota's Black Hills, sacred land stolen by the American government beginning in 1876.

Divided into three sections: extermination, assimilation and reparations, the two-hour docu is told from the point of the Lakota people and recounts how the Black Hills were taken in violation of various treaty agreements while the Indigenous community who lived there was simultaneously exploited and displaced. In addition to covering the ongoing fight to reclaim control of the Black Hills, the docu investigates the many ways that the U.S. has ignored, overlooked and failed to grapple with the historical wrongs done to Indigenous communities across the country.

"This is a story about enduring Lakota resistance and existence, but it's also a conversation with the present," says Tomaselli, who co-wrote "MLK/FBI." "History repeats itself until we actually learn the history."

The Lakota history is not taught in classrooms, which makes the beautifully crafted docu essential viewing. The film highlights various atrocities including Pres. Abraham Lincoln's ordered execution of 38 Indigenous men following the Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, a six-week conflict against white settlers after the U.S. broke a promise to deliver food and supplies to local tribes in exchange for the surrender of tribal land. The doc also recounts how Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and communities and sent to government-run boarding schools in an attempt to erase Native American culture.

"As a member of the Oglala Tetonowan Oyate, and employee of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, I bear witness to the efforts of people committed to getting the Black Hills back," says Short Bull. "From the humblest of dreams, to the dedicated government-to-government conversations, I believe it is time to tell the story of America's longest running failure to do the right thing."

— Addie Morfoot, Variety

Lakota Nation vs. United States

Fri September 22, 7:30 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium

United States of America, 2022, 120 min

Director: Laura Tomaselli, Jesse Short Bull, Writer: Layli Long Soldier, Cast: Nick Tilsen, Phyllis Young, Krystal Two Bulls, Candi Brings Plenty



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Sat Oct 28, 2023


At Muenzinger Auditorium

Tue Oct 31, 2023

Shaun of the Dead

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...