Buffalo Returns: Short Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Buffalo Returns: Short Review

This short documentary sees a Native American community still isolated and impoverished over a century after white settlers exterminated the buffalo, and with them, the Lakota economy and culture. Following a town meeting, two members embark upon a new enterprise – buffalo meat protein snack bars – and with a good idea, a couple of social media accounts and some old-fashioned moxie, they’ve managed to create a thriving and sustainable business. Not only has the company grown to see its product on sale in all 50 states, it has helped regenerate the Lakota community with much needed employment, housing and business.

Creatively, the film occasionally feels like advertorial in television form, albeit with some breath-taking landscape shots of the Pine Ridge Reservation*. Nonetheless, the story is an important and inspiring one. ‘It’s about people being empowered,’ comments one local property developer, and certainly these people have empowered themselves to reclaim their independence.


*The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (LakotaWazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota Native American reservation located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Originally included within the territory of the Great Sioux Reservation, Pine Ridge was established in 1889 in the southwest corner of South Dakota on the Nebraska border. Today it consists of 3,468.85 sq mi (8,984.3 km2) of land area and is the eighth-largest reservation in the United States, larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.




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