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Films >> Incident at Oglala (1992) >>

A murder. A mystery. A mockery of justice.

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The American Indian past seethes with memories of the United States inflicting violence, manipulating treaties, and exploiting tribal resources. To this day, natives still face racism and injustice, as the documentary Incident at Oglala proves through the unfair trial of an American Indian man named Leonard Peltier. The case started in 1975, when two FBI agents illegally entered the Pine Ridge Reservation in search of an American Indian wanted for the theft of cowboy boots. Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams proceeded to follow a red pickup truck into Jumping Bull Compound. Shots were fired, leaving the two agents and an American Indian man dead. The FBI launched an extensive investigation of the incident. After apprehending three men, they convicted one -- Peltier. This documentary re-examines the testimony of the witnesses and the physical evidence of the casings, while questioning the discrepancy in the vehicle description, the government’s influence on the jury, and the judge’s biased background. Despite the lack of solid evidence tying Peltier to the murder, he still resides in a high security prison in which he is serving out his two life sentences.