Two Western Shoshone sisters fight for their land rights and human rights.
"A powerful testament to Indian self-determination and women-power."
-Michael Smith, Founder and Director, American Indian Film Festival
"Masterful storytelling, beautiful cinematography, and unforgettable characters.
A truly exceptional human rights film whose message and impact will
reverberate for years to come."
-John H. Biaggi, Director, Human Rights Watch Int'l Film Festival
Until 1973, life was hard but satisfying for Carrie and Mary Dann, feisty Western Shoshone sisters who ranch on their ancestral homestead in beautiful but barren north central Nevada. Like most Western ranchers, the sisters graze their livestock outside their ranch on the open range. The range is part of 60 million acres recognized as Western Shoshone land by the United States government in the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley.
One morning in 1973, the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed the Danns that their animals were trespassing, trespassing on U.S. Public Land. The following year the U.S. sued the Danns for trespass and set off a dispute between the Dann sisters and the United States that’s raged for 35 years, to the Supreme Court and beyond, to the United Nations.
Besides lawsuits, there have been five terrifying livestock roundups by hordes of armed federal marshals in which the BLM confiscated a thousand Dann horses and cattle. “American Outrage” asks WHY? Why would the United States spend 35 years and millions of dollars to prosecute and persecute two elderly sisters grazing a few hundred horses and cows in a desolate desert?
Contrasting the Dann sisters' personal lives with their political actions, “American Outrage” demonstrates that justice, in the United States is still not blind when it comes to Native Americans.
San Luis Obispo Ind. Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary
American Indian Film Festival, Best Feature Documentary
Worldfest, Silver Remi
Mountainflm in Telluride, Audience Award &Spirit & Advocacy Award
Ashland Ind. Film Festival, Audience Award for Best Documentary
Boulder International Film Festival, Best Environmental Film
Frozen River Film Festival, Audience Award & Jury Award: Best Film
Ashland Film Festival, Audience Choice Award
Montreal Indigenous Film Festival, Grand Prize
2009 Telly Award, Best Videography
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival, Honorable Mention: Best Film
Montana Cine, Golden Cine &Best Documentary under $100,000 budget
Fargo Film Festival, Best Indigenous Voices Award
"A must-see documentary for its message that the United States acquisition of tribal lands under the guise of legality continues today."
Dr. Linda Parker, Professor, Dept. of American Indian Studies, San Diego State University
"Beautifully evocative yet morally disturbing. Breathtaking footage."
Patrice H. Kunesh, Director, Inst. of American Indian Studies, University of South Dakota
"American Outrage is a film that will remain not only relevant but essential for decades."
David Holbrooke, Festival Director, Mountainfilm in Telluride
Western Shoshone Defense Project, http://www.wsdp.org