EXCLUSIVE: In the snowy expanses of Montana’s Big Sky Country, dozens of Indigenous young women and girls have gone missing in the past decade. Yet hardly anything has been done about it.
The new documentary series Murder in Big Horn, premiering on Showtime today, exposes a deeply disturbing set of circumstances where “arrests are rare in these cases and convictions virtually non-existent. When grieving Native families press law enforcement for answers, they are met with either indifference or silence.”
The three-part series is co-directed by Razelle Benally, an Oglala Lakota/Diné filmmaker, and Matthew Galkin. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this month. Benally spoke with Deadline in Park City, noting, “I myself had always felt so strongly about this issue, being a Native girl growing into a Native woman, this fear of being stolen, disappearing or being murdered has always been my reality. And I have always included an element of social justice in my work. So, to be part of directing this documentary series was just an extension of something I was already doing as a director and filmmaker.”
We’ve got your first look at a clip from the series above. The excerpt reveals that one of the main factors complicating investigation of missing or murdered women is the tangle of jurisdictions over Indigenous communities, ranging from federal agencies to tribal authorities.
“For a crime that’s committed on tribal lands, federal law enforcement – the FBI, the Bureau of Indian Affairs – have jurisdiction,” attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle explains in the clip. “BIA law officers would be the ones who would show up immediately at a crime scene and then FBI would be called in. But the BIA cannot exercise criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians when they commit crimes on tribal lands. And, so, when we live on our tribal lands in our homes our own government cannot protect us from basically any crime committed by a non-Indian.”
The series is produced by Razelle Benally, Ivan MacDonald and Ivy MacDonald. Executive producers are Matthew Galkin and Vinnie Malhotra. The director of photography is Jeff Hutchens; the series is edited by David Mehlman and Fanny Lee. Laura Ortman composed the music.
Watch the exclusive clip above.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.