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Woman Walks Ahead

In 1890 Catherine Weldon wants to paint the portrait of Lakota-Sioux-Chief Sitting Bull, just when the government is about to pass the infamous "General Allotment Acts" and the army contemplates revenge for their defeat at Little Big Horn.


In 1890 painter Catherin Weldon travels to Standing Rock, North Dakota, to paint a portrait of Lakota-Sioux chief Sitting Bull. Weldon finds herself right in the heart of darkness, in a situation where the US government is planning the final extermination of the allied resistance of Lakota, Cheyenne, Blackfeet, and Arapaho led by Sitting Bull. Catherine Weldon is based on a real person who was Sitting Bull‘s real private secretary and and activist in the National Indian Defense Association. WOMAN WALKS AHEAD depicts a complex conflict situation wherein good intentions and strategic decisions can contradict each other. Catherin Weldon (Jessica Chastain) is advised to turn back immediately when she begins her journey by Colonel Groves (Sam Rockwell) and she is spit on by settlers on the train platform. The implementation of the “General Allotment Act“ of 1887 that split up reservation land, reduced it by two thirds, and was meant to break up the solidarity and culture of the Native American Nations is just around the corner. But there‘s also resentment from the army as they are seeking revenge for the loss of the 7th army in Little Big Horn. The tragic “Ghost Dance“ movement is spreading in the reservations. In this complex conflict situation Weldon befriends Sitting Bull, played with charm, humor, and authority by Michael Greyeyes. The film, directed by Susanna White and written by Stephen Knight (NO TURNING BACK) is a commentary on current topics like the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, but mostly it‘s an honest depiction of one of the most terrible crimes in US history. It‘s not history until it‘s over, says Colonel Groves at one point.


Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Woman Walks Ahead
USA 2018, 111 min
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Susanna White
Author: Steven Knight
Distributor: TOBIS
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, Sam Rockwell
FSK: 12
Release: 05.07.2018


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