Northern Arapaho Chairman Roy Brown and Eastern Shoshone Chairman Leslie Shakespeare both attended the world premiere of the new movie Wind River on July 26 at the Ace Hotel Theatre in Los Angeles. The film depicts hardship and violence on Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation.
Chairman Roy Brown said Wind River tells a fictional story of a missing and murdered woman in the Wind River Reservation. Only seats away from the film’s actors at the Los Angeles premiere, he was glad to see a film that focused on social issues that are not often talked about.
“This film didn’t feel that is was taking advantage of Native Americans,” Brown said. “The central theme was that native people are resilient. They have a lot to deal with. The film tells the story of a young native woman that was raped and subsequently died, and they didn’t focus on her being a victim. They focused on the struggle that she went through to survive that encounter.”
Roy Brown said the movie portrayed Native American life accurately and that he would recommend it to others.
Eastern Shoshone Chairman Leslie Shakespeare said working in law enforcement on the Wind River Reservation, he experienced similar incidents around the reservation.
“I can attest some of that stuff does happen here,” Shakespeare said. “It does a lot better realistically than a lot of films that are portrayed about Native Americans and Native American issues.”
A Department of Justice study estimates that Native American women disappear and are murdered at a rate ten times the national average.
The film opens in Wyoming theaters August 18.