Taking its title from the Lakota name “Mako Shika,” meaning “bad land,” Makoshika focuses on the lonely prairie landscapes of eastern Montana, where graduating classes of local one-room schoolhouses can often be composed of only a single student. First-time feature director Hart weaves alternating first-person narratives together with engrossing historical commentary to tell the story of a region in transition, largely due to oil development fueled by the nearby Bakken shale formations. Like the prospectors of years past, modern-day fortune hunters are making their way into these remote lands…while holding the fates of local communities in the balance.

Genres: Documentary