“On a Knife Edge” is a father-son story about Guy and George Dull Knife that unfolds over the course of George’s coming-of-age journey. Under his father’s guidance, George becomes an activist and organizer, and begins identifying with the role of traditional Lakota warrior, which he views as his family legacy. He commits himself to the fight for social justice, but struggles with adapting the old ways and his father’s expectations to the modern-day realities of growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Told largely through George’s eyes, the film offers a privileged glimpse into the youngest generation of the American Indian Movement, as well as George’s own evolving notions of Native identity, manhood, and duty.
His story is interwoven with animated sequences that depict five generations of family history, narrated by his father and based on paintings he has created to explore the continuum of their fight through the generations.
“On a Knife Edge” will have its world premiere June 10 and June 15 at the 16th annual San Francisco Documentary Film Festival.
About the filmmakers
Jeremy Williams (Director) is a BAFTA Award-winning director who has worked in television for twenty years and made more than 40 documentary films as a producer and director. He is currently a lecturer in Film and Television practice at the University of Falmouth in the UK in their Department of Film and Television. Jeremy has been a long‐time collaborator with October Films, producing a number of television documentaries and two feature-length docs: London and Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry, the latter nominated for a One World Media Award for Best Documentary in 2008. Recently he produced and directed Restless Flights, which profiled Nobel Literature Prize winner JMG Le Clezio, and Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone, for Channel 4 in the UK which was shown in WNET’s Wide Angle series as Eyes of the Storm. Orphans recently won the Rory Peck Award in London as well as the Childrens’ Rights Award at the 2010 One World Media Awards. Jeremy made Jack with Normal Life Pictures, a short film about a Lakota Vietnam veteran, which won first prize at the National Museum of the American Indian’s Veteran’s Day Film Contest in 2010.
Eli Cane (Producer) runs Normal Life Pictures, a New York-based production company. Most recently, he produced the ground-breaking videos for Solange’s Grammy-winning song “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair.” He was producer and music supervisor for The Market Maker, which aired nationally on PBS as a Wide Angle in 2009 and was selected for the Good Pitch at Silverdocs. He also produced a feature-length documentary for the Why Poverty? series entitled Land Rush, about agricultural land grabs in Mali and the future of food sovereignty. The film was featured at the Good Pitch London in 2011 and at IDFA in 2012, and has been screened in both the UK Parliament and the US Capital Building. In addition, the film became a center-piece of Oxfam’s “Behind the Brands” campaign, and aired in dozens of cities around the US in honor of World Food Day in 2013. The film was instrumental in achieving the campaign’s primary goal of convincing PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestlé, and Illovo to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards land grabs. The Why Poverty? series was a co-production between ITVS and the BBC and over a dozen other broadcasters, and when it aired in December 2012 it was seen by over 800 million viewers worldwide. The films in the Why Poverty? series won a Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2013.