They Are Gone
They Are Gone explores Montana’s crisis of missing and murdered indigenous people, focusing primarily on Native voices and perspectives. In Montana, natives make up less than 8% of the population, but account for 26% of missing persons in the entire state. I have spent the past year conducting interviews with native individuals who have been personally affected by this epidemic, as well as members of the department of justice, law enforcement, state senators, representatives and activists to build a comprehensive understanding of MMIP. The film will provide a respectful, intimate view of Montana’s MMIP crisis, as well as a cold hard look at both its causes and potential solutions.
They Are Gone is my first full length solo documentary project. Even as a Montanan, I was mostly unaware of the staggering rates at which native persons go missing or are killed in my country until I came across a special report. The data struck me, and I decided to dive in and make an independent film on this issue free from the standards constraints of traditional media. No excessive budgets, no hordes of staff to feed and manage. Just me, my 14 year old Subaru and a pair of cameras. I spent the entire year of 2020 filming and editing the project, funding my expenses via crowdfunding, side gigging and stimulus checks. Now, my only goal is that this film gets seen. As our country plunges into deeper and deeper conversations about race, Native American issues are often left out, let alone explored in depth. I’m hoping that They Are Gone can contribute to this conversation by bringing the reality of reservations to light.
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