UPDATE March 14: This event has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
A small Indigenous film that’s taking on Hollywood blockbusters – and winning – is coming to New Westminster for a special screening.
Neither Wolf Nor Dog, Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson’s adaptation of the award-winning novel, is showing at the Massey Theatre on Sunday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Based on the 1994 book by author Kent Nerburn, Neither Wolf Nor Dog takes audiences on a road trip through contemporary and historical Lakota life and culture.
It tells the story of Nerburn, a good-hearted, white American writer, who receives a mysterious call inviting him to meet an old man on a distant Indian reservation. Nerburn travels across the Great Plains to meet the old man, Dan, who hands him a shoebox full of notes and tells him to turn them into a book. Their resulting road trip and relationship addresses both historical and current events facing the Lakota people.
A press release notes that the small film was audience-financed with 18 shoot days, a tiny crew, a 95-year-old star and a self-distributed release.
Despite its size, it has had a longer theatrical run than any other U.S. film released in the past decade. It has continued to steadily roll out through the U.S., playing in 500-plus theatres and alternative venues. Its Minnesota debut resulted in a massive opening week at the Landmark Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis, which was extended for four weeks and amassed around 3,500 admissions – more than the film with the top screen average in the U.S. that week.
It stars Christopher Sweeney as Nerburn and Dave Bald Eagle as Dan, with Richard Ray Whitman as Grover, Dan’s friend; and Canadian actor Roseanne Supernault as Dan’s twin granddaughters, Wenonah and Danelle.
“I have never been so fortunate in my life casting a film,” Simpson said in the film’s press notes. “Not just all wonderful for the roles, but amazing people who were so easy to work with in what could have been difficult conditions. They all had my back at every moment. We all knew we were making something bigger than us all.”
Massey Theatre is at 735 Eighth Ave. For full screening details, check out the event listing on Facebook (search for New Westminster, BC - Neither Wolf Nor Dog movie March 29th).