In the last 3 years, more than 100 Lakota girls between the ages of 6-18 have attempted suicide on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 47 have succeeded. Why? One teacher is finding answers and saving lives at a girl's math camp
By donating to this film, you are helping us show there is a path, however steep, to college and a better future for Lakota children.
LOUDER THAN THUNDER A Project of Documentaries
If no one is listening, tell your story LOUDER THAN THUNDER
I've produced 14 'humanitarian" documentaries in some of the toughest, most heartbreaking places on earth and this story is already proving to be the most difficult and important of my career. Surrounded by poverty, alcoholism and abuse, Lakota girls are most like to succumb to hopelessness and suicide. How can we stop these kids from killing themselves?
THE TRUTH IS: We can't. But, THEY CAN.
And you can help.
Not by offering hope-hope will not fill a child's stomach or keep them safe from harm--but by helping us empower Lakota youth to embrace their unique, cultural heritage and personal value as storytellers in the digital world.
Filmed at Pine Ridge Reservation, Standing Rock and sacred sites of the Lakota Sioux in the Black Hills, LOUDER THAN THUNDER humanizes Pine Ridge suicide statistics and dispels Native American stereotypes by putting cameras in the hands of three at-risk, Lakota girls as they navigate school, home, social life and an introduction to traditional coming-of-age ceremonies in a very untraditional environment – a math camp.
Partnering with Big Wound High School, our female production crew has been mentoring three Lakota girls in an accredited filmmaking class to generate a personal, modern and metaphorical hybrid of their own "Creation" story as an essential element of the documentary's narrative presented through interviews with Native American elders, artists, writers and academic experts.
In recent years, Native American communities have employed digital storytelling as a modern methodology to re-ignite oral tradition and develop survivance, healing, hope, and stronger intergenerational cultural connections. The National Native American Health Center currently promotes digital storytelling as a therapeutic tool and effective suicide deterrent.And you can help by supporting production of this film. The beating heart of LOUDER THAN THUNDER will be seen through the eyes and footage of three young female filmmakers: Zoey, Hopi and Taren. Their 'TRUE STORIES OF ME" offer viewers authentic insights into the complex realities of growing-up as a "Lakota rez-girl," while more importantly, empowering marginalized native American youth to make their voices heard and rewrite their capabilities for the future.
Our young filmmakers are featured in the above film trailer. They were chosen for 1) enthusiastic interest in the project 2) strong individuality 3) living situations 4) history of at-risk, suicidal behavior 4) family permission.
Zoey is sixteen years old when the filming begins. With a shock of pink hair, this suicide survivor is a junior at Big Wound High School and poet chosen to read at the White House with the "Native American Voices Project." She find solace and renewed purpose in counseling other at-risk girls.
Hopi just turned sixteen. She loves basketball and karaoke and hates navigating racism on and off the res with her white mother's skin. Speaking about the seductive powers of suicide, she is brutally realistic after losing four friends in three years.
Taren is twelve, approaching middle school and puberty with whiplash wit and hard-won wisdom of an "outsider." Attending school in Rapid City, she lives with her grandmother, enduring racism and bullying by white classmates. Known as a "townee," Taren also faces rejection by Lakota girls when visiting her alcoholic mother on Pine Ridge.
Through generous donors, we've been filming for more than a year and purchased three HD cameras for our young Lakota filmmakers.
NOW, TO COMPLETE PRODUCTION WE NEED YOUR HELP:
1. To raise $14,200 for travel, filming and post-production in 2018.
2. To create one MAC 7 computer and Premiere Pro Software for a new film lab at BIG WOUND HIGH SCHOOL, where our crew will teach students film editing in an accredited class called: CREATION STORIES in the DIGITAL AGE. ($7,200.)
PLEASE, if you can, make a tax deductible DONATION today!
HELP US HELP AT-RISK LAKOTA YOUTH by supporting LOUDER THAN THUNDER
Thank you, as always, for your generous hearts!
Karen and Crew