Inside the Gloriously Flawed Veterans for Standing Rock Deployment
In December of 2016 Marshal joined thousands of other veterans who deployed to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation with Veterans for Standing Rock. Their mission was to act as human shields for Water Protectors battling the Dakota Access pipeline being plowed through their treaty lands. Peaceful and prayerful, the Water Protectors had endured months of brutalization at the hands of militarized police and heavily armed private security contractors. They were firehosed in sub-freezing temperatures, some were maimed by concussion grenades and rubber bullets. These acts of violence were perpetrated on Water Protectors who were doing nothing more than exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.
After coming home and talking with another veteran, Gavin MacPherson, Marshal realized there was the beginning of a documentary in their combined video material. And Four Days in December was born.
Marshal felt the larger Standing Rock story was not his to tell. But the story of the veteran’s deployment was. And with that in mind, he gained permission to use other people’s footage to put the Veterans for Standing Rock mission into context of the larger events that happened at Standing Rock and Oceti Sakowin. The resulting documentary is something that captures a moment in American history. Those who had warred against Native Americans now stood shoulder to shoulder with them, defending their rights and lands. Someone said, “This is spiritual warfare.” They were right. That shared experience is something as powerful as it is unique, both for the film and the filmmaker.
Four Days in December: Inside the Gloriously Flawed Veterans for Standing Rock Deployment is currently being submitted to festivals. Once any festival run is complete, it will be made available either through distribution or online.