"During the 19th and 20th centuries, American Indian and Alaska Native children were forcibly abducted from their homes to attend Christian boarding schools as a matter of government policy. Sexual, physical, and emotional violence was rampant in many of these schools." -- Boarding School Healing Project.
If you became aware of ongoing violence and abuse against children, how would you deal with that knowledge? Tommy Davis' One Minute to Nine, which also premiered at SXSW this week, tackles that issue from a documentary perspective, while Georgina Lightning's Older Than America dramatizes the issue. The specific abuses are similar in that they have devastating effects upon more than one generation, but otherwise are quite different. One Minute to Nine examines how a woman responded to abuse heaped upon her and her children by her husband over many years, keeping its focus on one family. Older Than America looks at systemic abuse, telling its story through a crisis faced by one woman.
Director and co-writer Lightning also plays Rain, the lead role in Older Than America. Rain lives with her police officer boyfriend Johnny (Adam Beach) in snowy, rural Minnesota. One night Rain begins to have disturbing visions in her sleep. They're not exactly nightmares, but they seem more than random mental particles colliding in her dreams. Very soon after, she sees a man from her visions during the daytime, which disturbs her even more.