Chiefs -Basketball

Item No: 232

$ 24.00

  • Filmed over the course of two years and originally broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens, this 90-minute documentary chronicles the trials and triumphs of Wyoming Indian High School's championship-seeking boy's basketball team, a source of great community pride among the 5,000 Native American citizens (mostly Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho) of the Wind River Reservation in west-central Wyoming. In Chiefs, we see a group of young men trying to convert the pride and success they experience on the basketball court and move ahead with the rest of their lives. By chronicling the experiences of these young players over the course of two years, the film shows what it's like to grow up Native American in the 21st century.

    • Format: DVD
    • Studio: Lifesize Ent.
    • Release Date: 2006
    • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Director Daniel Junge received his Bachelor's degree from Colorado College and attended film school at New York University. His 40-minute film Road Movie screened at the Denver and New Orleans film festivals. Since 1994, he has worked within the American and British film industries as an assistant director, assistant editor and researcher. Junge was born in Wyoming and played basketball for his high school, which won the state championship. "We knew about the Chiefs but we didn't play them," says Junge. "We probably didn't want to play them because it was a losing proposition."
  • Wind River Indian Reservation (where the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone were confined by the U.S. government on 3,500 square miles of central Wyoming) is hardly an environment conducive to success. Poverty, alcoholism, racism, and youth suicide are just a few of the challenges the cultures face. But despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, basketball is played on the rez and played very well. The film CHIEFS explores the complex factors that contribute to playing an incredible game of basketball.
 Through triumph and heartbreak, CHIEFS shows the whole reservation, from babies to grandmas, coming out to support the team, especially at the state tournament, where as many as 3,000 show up to cheer them on. It is a truism that basketball tends to thrive in the direst of circumstances. More than escapism, it provides youth with a sense of belonging and camaraderie, a means of achieving some sort of victory, an opportunity to explore life off the rez.
  • At Shumakolowa Native Arts we are proud to offer rare and hard-to-find documentaries and movies that celebrates Native American and Pueblo culture, history and art. Our selection of films has been carefully curated by our team of experts to inspire and provide insight into these unique art forms.
  • At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we are proud to bring you books, music and films that celebrate and illuminate Native American artists and the original authentic art forms that are distinctive to Native Americans of the Southwest. These works are written, produced, directed or recorded by Native American authors, filmmakers and musicians or were created in consultation with Native American experts. In our unique collection of media, we bring you the finest scholarly books recognized for their nuanced exploration of Native American culture; music that comes out of Native traditions of prayer, song and dance; and films that use the voices of Native American people to examine their stories, art and history.
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