(director/writer: Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler; cinematographer: Tyler Graim; editor: Jean Rheem; music: Denisse Ojeda; cast: Angel Ellis, Jerrad Moore, James Floyd, Gary Fife, Jason Salsman, Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton, Lucian Tiger III, James Jenning, Travis Scott, Mark Randolph, Rita Courtwright, David Hill, Bim Steve Bruner; Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Conrad Beilharz, Garrett F. Baker, Tyler Graim, Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler; Oklafilm; 2023)
“This well-made muckraking documentary on political ruses is informative.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Rebecca Landsberry-Baker (a Muscogee Creek tribeswoman and the executive director of the Native American Journalists Association) and Joe Peeler (veteran editor), in their first film as feature film directors, show a passion for their Native American subject matter of having a free press as essential. It’s also a timely film for today’s politically charged climate in America.
Their documentary tells of Angel Ellis, a journalist for the Mvskoke Media in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, who acts to codify the Freedom of the press within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She relates how the local politicians in Oklahoma are at odds with the tribe and indulge in institutional corruption.
It’s easy to see parallels to these Native American events in the U.S. political mainstream and of losing candidates in the post- Trump days making baseless “stolen election” claims. This fight for a free press to survive may never be fully over as long as democracy fights to exist.
This well-made muckraking documentary on political ruses is informative.
REVIEWED ON 1/31/2023 GRADE: B-