Director’s Statement


Songs My Brothers Taught Me” is a contemplation of the time I spent on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during the four years of making this film.

One of the most common questions people ask when they hear about some of the difficulties facing Pine Ridge is “Why don’t they just leave? If life is hard, why don’t they just leave the reservation and go somewhere else?” When considering how frequently I have moved around in my own life, I must confess that at times I have often wondered the same thing. I was born in Beijing and left home when I was fourteen, and have been moving from place to place ever since. As a result, there isn’t one particular place in the world from which I cannot just uproot myself and leave behind. ‘Home’, to me, feels like only a concept, and I find myself often exploring its meaning in my films and writing.