34 minutes, 1999, DVCAM

“Wind River”
School Library Journal, February 2001
by Janet Musil

Don’t be misled by the introductory, somewhat rambling reminiscences of Shoshone tribal elder Star Weed, as this documentary presents a very balanced analysis of the disputes over water rights in Wyoming. Since a diversion dam was created in 1934, the numerous parties impacted, from investors and farmers, to state and federal bureaus and native tribes, raised the questions: ‘Who is entitled to the water?’ and ‘Who has jurisdiction?’ Each position’s argument is posed equitably through sometimes brutally honest interviews with representatives of those concerned. Interspersed with the interviews are sepia-toned photographs of historical figures who have been involved in the issues, and colorful vistas and landscapes accompanied by the strum of a guitar. This presentation has potential use in law, environment, biology, anthropology, and Native American studies classes. It will inspire lively debate because so many perspectives are represented, all with valid arguments.