A Different American Dream documents the impact of the recent oil boom on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota. Home to the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations (MHA), the reservation sits on the banks of Lake Sakakawea, a body of water covering sacred land, now threatened by fracking waste.
The film opens amidst the chaos of the oil-boom: trucks, rigs, pumps, tankers, trains, sirens and roaring engines create the soundtrack for this post-industrial world. From this dystopian landscape emerge the central characters of the film, people whose lives are inseparable from this breathtaking place on the edge of the Badlands. The speed and extent of cultural and environmental damage caused by the oil industry on the Fort Berthold Reservation is staggering.
A Different American Dream responds to the urgency of the social, environmental, and spiritual threat to the ancestral homelands of the MHA Nation.