Skip to content

Directed by Jessica Jane Hart

Montana 2015 65 mins.

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

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.