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CLC to show film 'Neither Wolf Nor Dog' April 16

A scene from the independent film “Neither Wolf Nor Dog.” The film will be screened at 6:30 p.m. April 16 in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College. Submitted Photo

Independent film "Neither Wolf Nor Dog" will be screened at 6:30 p.m. April 16 in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College.

The screening is part of the Cultural Arts Series with the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center.

"From the pages of an award-winning novel to the big screen is the journey of 'Neither Wolf Nor Dog,' an independent film has been making a gigantic impact on communities since its release in 2017," Series Producer Patrick Spradlin stated in a news release. "This is an added event to our regular season. When this opportunity came along, we knew we had to seize it."

The film was adapted from the acclaimed novel of the same title by Minnesota author Kent Nerburn. The book was first published in 1994 and was the winner of the Minnesota Book award in 1994. The publisher, New World Library, estimates world-wide sales at around half a million copies with sales in Europe and in particular Germany being strong.

In the news release, the American Indian College fund stated, "This is one of those rare works that once you've read it, you can never look at the world, or at people, the same way again."

Filmmaker Steven Lewis Simpson knew traditional film distributors would have no idea how to access the core audience for the film so he opted to bypass them and started self-distributing directly to theaters in 2017. It is still in first-run cinemas in 2019, which makes it the longest

first-run theatrical release in the U.S. in over a decade. In its first week at the CEC theater in Bemidji, it was the No. 1 film beating 9 Hollywood movies and getting more than 1,600 admission in a town of 15,000, the release stated. In Minneapolis it sold out shows and had more admissions on its opening week than the film with the highest screen-average in the entire USA.

The story follows a white author who gets sucked into the heart of contemporary Native American life in the sparse lands of the Dakota's by a 95-year-old Lakota elder and his side-kick.

The film stars Chief Dave Bald Eagle in the lead role as a Lakota elder. He was 95 years old at the time of filming and it was his first starring role in a film. The film also stars Christopher Sweeney as Nerburn; Richard Ray Whitman as Grover; Roseanne Supernault as the twins Wenonah and Danelle; Tatanka Means as Delvin; Zahn McClarnon as Billy; and Harlen Standing Bear Sr. as Jumbo.

The film is notable for a climactic scene shot at Wounded Knee where the script and the novel were thrown away and Bald Eagle improvised the whole scene from his heart, as his family had a closer connection to the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 than even the character he was playing. At the end of filming the scene he turned to Sweeney who was acting opposite him and said "I've been holding that in for 95 years."

Bald Eagle saw the film before he passed away and said, "It's the only film I've been in about my people that told the truth."

Tickets for "Neither Wolf Nor Dog" are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at 218-855-8199 or online at www.clcperformingarts.com.

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