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Saratoga Flurry Festival Presents Standing Rock Doc Film

February 23, 2017
Standing Rock table at Flurry Festival
Standing Rock at Flurry Festival - Director Fidel Moreno & Cedric Goodhouse

Over the weekend, MDOCS student Julia Cavicchi  '18 (environmental etudies) attended the Saratoga Flurry Festival not to check out the dancing, but to attend a work-in-progress screening of a documentary film by Oscar-nominated Director Fidel Moreno, Gathering our Hearts at Standing Rock. Fidel was joined by Fort Yates Tribal Chairman of the Hunkpapa Sioux of Standing Rock, North Dakota, Cedric Goodhouse and his family for the weekend's events. She writes:

As Standing Rock protesters begin to evacuate the land north of Cannonball River, their stories journey across the nation, new narratives arising from that long-contested landscape. This weekend, Fidel Moreno brought his documentary Gathering Our Hearts at Standing Rock for a screening in Saratoga Springs. It quickly became clear that the movement of the Water Protectors is part of a more ancient struggle that will not so readily dissipate. Environmental injustice regarding water rights comes close to home; the Hudson River is also threatened by impending pipelines and oil barges. 

Before the film, community members gathered for a water pipe ceremony and northern plains drumming and singing and spoke together about using music to strengthen communities, the power of gratitude and beginning the process of healing. Down the street at the Saratoga Arts Center, the voices of Fidel's documentary resounded in an auditorium filled with community members, Standing Rock leaders and elders and an iridescent blue vase cradling water carefully placed at the front of the room. I spoke with Moreno about his history with ethnographic documentary and human rights issues, the future of Standing Rock as a movement, spiritual activism and empowering youth through media production. 

After the film was over, after the elders had spoken, the questions asked and beliefs shared, after we extended our arms towards the water at the heart of the room and it was blessed with a song of prayer, someone lifted the vase and carried it out into the city, shuttled it through the streets and poured it out into the sacred water of the Hudson River. 

Listen to the audio Julia captured at the event, including portions of the Q&A and interviews with Director Fidel Moreno and other attendees.

During her time spent with Fidel and Cedric, Julia helped create a short video with Cedric speaking about the next steps for the Dakota Pipeline protests and the Lakota people; watch it here.

There will be a benefit for Standing Rock Lakota Water Protectors at Caffe Lena on Saturday, February 25

Article and audio by Julia Cavicchi '18; music from Myron Reday, courtesy of