Experiencing Interruptions?


"Big Crow" is a story about the power of hope in the most destitute place in America - South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. By age fourteen, SuAnne Big Crow had become one of the state’s best basketball players. By age seventeen, her wisdom, leadership, and determination had made her a household name across the Great Plains. Thirty years after her tragic death, SuAnne’s spirit has proven legendary; everyone you meet on “the Rez” has a story about how SuAnne’s pride in her people continues to galvanize the Lakota in their fight to reclaim their language and save their culture.

Through never-before-seen VHS coverage of her games and home videos and extensive interviews, we examine who SuAnne was on and off the court. "Big Crow" chronicles how this young Lakota leader crossed racial divides to propel her culture into a better tomorrow. We see SuAnne’s continued influence on her alma mater, the 2018-2019 Pine Ridge Lady Thorpes, as they fight for another Class A state championship. One current player is said to play just like SuAnne. On the Rez and on the court, everybody’s looking for the next SuAnne. Will we find her?

  • Kris Kaczor
    Divide In Concord, We Are All Angels
  • Walter Matteson
    DADS, Iconoclasts, Made in America, Best Shot
  • Kevin Bayson
    Divide In Concord
  • Inila Wakan
  • Chick Big Crow
    Key Cast
  • Cecelia Big Crow
    Key Cast
  • Tiny DeCory
    Key Cast
  • Doni DeCory
    Key Cast
  • Rayette Provost
    Key Cast
  • SuAnne Big Crow
    Key Cast
  • Bryan Brewer
    Key Cast
  • Joel Thunderhawk
    Key Cast
  • Shayla Bravo
    Key Cast
  • Chancey Witt
    Key Cast
  • Toby Carlow
    Key Cast
  • Cecelia Big Crow
  • Inila Wakan
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Native American, Sports
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 9 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 11, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    150,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    Santa Barbara
    United States
    April 3, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Fargo Film Festival
    United States
    March 25, 2023
    North Dakota
    2023 Prairie Spirit Award
  • Anchorage International Film Festival
    United States
    December 2, 2022
    Jury Award
  • Seattle Film Festival
    United States
    February 10, 2022
    Jury Award
Distribution Information
  • Freestyle Digital Media
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Kris Kaczor

Kris Kaczor is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker focused on unlikely heroes. A graduate of The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan, Kaczor's directorial debut “Divide In Concord” won Best of HotDocs, was championed by filmmaker Michael Moore, and continues to air nationally on PBS. He is currently the director of photography for Ron Howard's latest documentary on José Andres and World Central Kitchen.

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Director Statement

About a decade ago I was reading Ian Frazier’s book “On the Rez” and a single passage haunted me since. "I had thought that Oglala [Lakota Sioux] heroes existed mostly in the past. But a true Oglala hero appeared in the late 1980s, in suffering Pine Ridge, right under everyone's nose, while the rest of the world was looking the other way: SuAnne Big Crow."

Heroes are hard to come by and many are lost to history. SuAnne Big Crow was a high school basketball star in the 80’s, who wanted to help save her dying culture. In our time spent with the Lakota, we discovered the profound depth of this untold story. SuAnne is a modern-day hero and source of hope to her Native people. This film is the result of eight years of working with and gaining the trust of the Oglala Lakota. The intention is to continue her message and memory, in service of preserving their sacred culture.