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MMIW documentary set in Big Horn County premieres at 2023 Sundance Film Festival

Attendees at a Missoula, Montana, vigil Wednesday, May 4, 2021, lit candles to commemorate the victims and survivors of the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
Corin Cates-Carney
/
Montana Public Radio/File photo
Attendees at a Missoula vigil Wednesday, May 4, 2021, lit candles to commemorate the victims and survivors of the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

A three-part documentary focused on four missing and murdered Indigenous women from Montana premieres this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Murder in Big Horn examines the cases of Northern Cheyenne and Crow teenagers.

Lucy Simpson, executive director with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center in Lame Deer, said producer Ivan MacDonald, a Blackfeet filmmaker, and the film’s directors reached out to NIWRC on the issue.

“The framework of the issues and some of the reasons behind the high rate of murder and missing indigenous women nationally, and the roots of that being connected to the history of colonization within the United States,” Simpson said.

The three parts examine the circumstances of these cases, told solely from the perspectives of the women’s families, Native journalists and local law enforcement.

Simpson has watched Murder in Big Horn and said it’s a powerful story.

"I think the directors did a really amazing job in being able to express the root causes of this violence and how it is just such a difficult thing for those families," she said.

Murder in Big Horn premieres Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City and will air on Showtime in early February.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.