The Battle for Whiteclay: A Screening and Discussion with the Director and the Film’s Lead Activist
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST)
New York, United States
New School President Bob Kerrey welcomes filmmaker Mark Vasina and Native American activist Frank LaMere, who invite you to a screening and discussion of their documentary, The Battle for Whiteclay. The film provides an in-depth look at a century-old problem: the State of Nebraska’s refusal to halt alcohol sales to the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from the neighboring town of Whiteclay.
Struggling with crippling poverty and epidemic alcohol abuse that afflicts four out of five families, Pine Ridge’s Oglala Sioux have for decades banned the sale and possession of alcohol on their reservation. Still, four off-sale beer stores in the 14-person hamlet of Whiteclay sell more than 11,000 cans of beer a day to tribe members, though there is virtually no lawful place in Whiteclay to drink alcohol.
The Battle for Whiteclay follows Indian activists Frank LaMere, Duane Martin, Sr., and Russell Means through the streets of Whiteclay to the halls of Nebraska’s State Capitol as they battle to end alcohol sales in the place many have dubbed “skid row on the prairie.” The film includes a reading of a letter President Kerrey wrote to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission in support of the community’s cause.
President Kerrey will offer opening remarks. After the screening, Vasina and LaMere will discuss the film with audience members.
The Battle for Whiteclay
Directed and produced by Mark Vasina
Edited by Alex Moscu and Mark Vasina
Original music by Canupa Gluha Mani and Michael Murphy
2008; 113 minutes; color
When & Where
The New School
The New School was founded in New York City in 1919 as a bastion of intellectual and artistic freedom. Today, it is a leading university offering some of the nation's most respected programs in design, liberal arts, the performing arts, and social and political science. Students from across the country and around the world enroll in The New School's diverse degree, certificate, and continuing education programs, enjoying small class sizes, superior resources, and renowned faculty of artists, scholars, and professionals who practice what they teach. The New School's founding mission was to create a place where global peace and justice were more than theoretical ideals. To this day, New School students participate in programs that strive for academic excellence, technical mastery, innovation, and engaged world citizenship.