Vision Maker Media

Crying Earth Rise Up

Documentary | Suree Towfighnia & Debra White Plume

Crying Earth Rise Up tells the story of Debra White Plume and Elisha Yellow Thunder’s parallel search for answers to the question: Why are there high levels of radiation in our drinking water and how can we protect our families and community against this threat?

57 minutes

Release: 2015

Suree Towfighnia

Director/Producer/Camera
Suree Towfighnia is a director, producer, director of photography, and documentary educator originally from Chicago, IL. Her films "Crying Earth Rise Up" and "Standing Silent Nation" were broadcast on PBS and garnered awards in competitions and festivals. Suree produced Haskell Wexler's documentary "Four Days in Chicago" about the 2012 actions against NATO. Suree’s current project, "Nurturing Roots", documents specialty coffee growers in southern Mexico and incorporates child-centered narratives and animation.

Debra White Plume (Oglala Lakota)

Consulting Producer/Writer
Debra was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. Her adult life was dedicated to Lakota cultural preservation and revitalization, including work to protect treaty rights and human rights. She was an active community organizer working at the grassroots level and internationally with the United Nations where she participated in the drafting of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples and Issues. Debra’s activism spanned over 45 years -- from the Wounded Knee occupation in 1973 to the Standing Rock occupation in 2016. Upon her death in November 2020, the New York Times described her as “defender of her tribe.”

Tantoo Cardinal (Cree/Metis)

Narrator
TANTOO CARDINAL is a Cree/Metis actor, writer, and activist, and arguably the most widely-recognized Indigenous actress of her time. She has broken barriers for Native representation, combining her prodigious talent and presence with a fierce commitment to honouring Indigenous people. Tantoo is best known for her roles in Falls Around Her, Legends of the Fall, Dances With Wolves, Where The Rivers Flow North, and Smoke Signals.