Crime Film Documentaries

Instructor: James R. Elkins

"Incident at Oglala: The Leonard Peltier Story"

[1 hr. 29 mins.] [film by Michael Apted]

"Narrated by Robert Redford, this provocative documentary chronicles the controversial events surrounding the shooting of two FBI agents on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975, resulting in the conviction of Sioux activist Leonard Peltier. Featuring reenactments and interviews with key players in the incident, the film offers evidence that the government's prosecution of Peltier was unjust and politically motivated." ~Netflix


Internet Movie Database

The Leonard Peltier

The Leonard Peltier Trial
[Douglas O. Linder, Famous Trials] [website]

Friends of Peltier
[FOIA documents, trial transcripts, post-trial proceedings]

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Preview in Class

John Trudell On Leonard Peltier
[video; 5:15 mins.]

Leonard Peltier 40 years after
[video; 23:17 mins.] [for in class use, begin video at 2:30 mins.]

Leonard Peltier in Solitary Confinement
[video; 8:52 mins.]

Leonard Peltier "I Will" Clemency Campaign
[video; 2:51 mins.]

Free Leonard Peltier Now
[video; 5:43 mins.]

Videos on the Leonard Peltier Case

Leonard Peltier's account of that day
[video/reading; 8:15 mins.] [Harvey Arden reads from Leonard Peltier's
autobiography, describing the shoot-out on June 26, 1975]

Freedom? The Case of Leonard Peltier
[video; 4:05 mins.]

Free Leonard Peltier
[video; 4:16 mins.]

Free Leonard Peltier
[video; 4:39 mins.]

Leonard Peltier placed in "Hellhole"
[video; 5:20 mins.] [with an interview of Robert Bryan, Peltier's defense lawyer]

Leonard Peltier brutally Attacked
[video; 5:41 mins.]

Will Obama free Leonard Peltier?
[video; 2:51 mins.]

Who is Leonard Peltier?
[video; 6:16 mins.]

Leonard Peltier Speaks From Prison on Denial of Medical Care and Bid for Clemency
[video; 11:10 mins.]

Leonard Peltier Up for Parole after 33 years in Prison
[video; 3:19 mins.]

Parole Hearing to be Held for Imprisoned Native American Activist Leonard Peltier
[video; newscast, July 27, 2009, Democracy Now with Amy Goodman who talks with Peltier lawyer, Eric Seitz]

A Report by Amy Goodman for Pacifica Radio
[audio; interview with Leonard Peltier; June 12, 2000]

AIM West speaks on the parole hearing of Leonard Peltier
[video; 7:18 mins.]

Debate Between the FBI and Defense Attorneys
[audio; Pacifica Radio]

Appeal for the Release of Leonard Peltier
[Amnesty International, July 15, 1999]

Leonard Peltier case update
[27:56 mins.]

Leonard Peltier Case
[44:32 mins.]

John Trudell On Leonard Peltier
[video; 5:15 mins.] [Modern Humans are Walking Dead! :: 3:32 mins.] [John Trudell on the Christian World View :: 9:45 mins.] [Trudell Documentary :: 1:18:22 mins.] [John Trudell, Crazy Horse :: 6:01 mins.] [A Conversation with John Trudell :: 57:03 mins.]

Leonard Peltier's Long Ride Home
[art montage & commentary; 2:56 mins.; intriguing background music]

They Buried the Heart of Leonard Peltier--but not In the spirit of Crazy Horse (1982)
[58:28 mins.]

Free Leonard Peltier Free Em' All! Documentary
[54:12 mins.]

Ward Churchill Interview on Leonard Peltier
[16:30 mins.]

Misc. Resources

Leonard Peltier, the Sioux, and the State of Native America

Eric Seitz, Leonard Peltier Attorney: Response on Parole Denied
[August 21, 2009]

Bibliography (Books)

Peter Mathiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (New York: Penguin Books, 1992)


In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
[Book Review, New York Times]

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
[Wikipedia ]

Review Essay
[Peter D'Errico]

Leonard Peltier, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2000)

Jim Messerschmidt, The Trial of Leonard Peltier (Boston: South End Press, 1999)

Bibliography (Articles):

Joseph C. Hogan, III, Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Leonard Peltier and the Sublegal System, 34 Boston Col. L. Rev. 901 (1993)

Yvonne Bushyead, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Case of Leonard Peltier, 2 Yale J. Law & Liberation, 13 (1991)

Peter d'Errico, The Sundancer: A Review Essay on In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, 7 Am. Legal Stud. F. 74 (1983)

John J. Privitera, Toward a Remedy for International Extradition by Fraud: The Case of Leonard Peltier, 2 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. 49 (1983)

Mark W. Page, Price v. Viking Penguin, Inc.: The Neutral Reportage Privilege and Robust, Wide Open Debate, 75 Minn. L. Rev. 157 (1990)


Peter Matthiessen
[author of In the Spirit of Crazy Horse; Wikipedia]