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Dave Bald Eagle, a 95-year-old Lakota elder, in "Neither Wolf Nor Dog." 

Courtesy photo

“Neither Wolf Nor Dog,” an indie movie starring the late Lakota elder and Chief Dave Bald Eagle, opens today at Spearfish’s Northern Hills Cinema for a one-week run.

The movie, directed by Steven Lewis Simpson, is receiving rave reviews — 4.7 out of 5 stars from Rotten Tomatoes — yet struggling to make it into first run movie theaters because it is not a Hollywood flick with big-time marketing agents, said Simpson.

Be that as it may, Simpson is determined to get the movie adaptation of Kent Nerburn’s best-selling novel “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” into communities around the world, because the story and Bald Eagle’s story are just too important to be left unheard, he said.

“Neither Wolf Nor Dog” was shot in 18 days in the Badlands and Pine Ridge. It’s star, Bald Eagle, was 95 when it was filmed.

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Much of the dialogue comes from the Minnicoujou Chief’s lifelong wisdom, that weaves seamlessly into Nerburn’s novel about a white man who is called to the reservation by Dan (Bald Eagle) to write the dying elder’s story.

What follows is a deeply moving and sometimes humorous journey through contemporary and historical Lakota life and culture.

Bald Eagle was born in 1919 in Cherry Creek, and participated in 77 Deadwood Days of ‘76 parades. Bald Eagle died July 22, 2016.

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