MORE THAN A PIPELINE
A documentary by Robert Bridgeman & Lex Olthof
More than a pipeline is a documentary film by Dutch director Robert Bridgeman and cameraman Lex Olthof. The film tells the story of the 500 years suppression of the First Nations by the US Government. Filmed from the viewpoint of the Standing Rock movement, and how this is in fact the next chapter in their ongoing fight for Sioux rights.
The film is available at https://morethanapipeline.com/, free of charge.
Director : Robert Bridgeman
Camera / Editing : Lex Olthof
Music : John Akerman Ozgüç
Length : 60mins
Website : www.morethanapipeline.com
Hashtag : #MTPL
ROBERT BRIDGEMAN (director)
In essence Robert Bridgeman is an inspirer and a “messenger”. A teacher with a mission. Through personal experiences he decided to live his life following his passion: facilitating awareness in others. Robert has made quite a journey to be able to live from passion and devotion. This has been an intense internal and physical journey around the world. He meditated in monasteries for weeks and he spent time with shamans in sweat lodges. Robert is connected to the prestigious “Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute” in San Francisco (Mindfulness for businesses), which is the result of a collaboration between Google and Stanford University. Robert has become a specialist in the processes of inner healing, increasing self-awareness, awakening, strengthening spiritual wisdom and manifestation. Robert has written four books and two e-books on awareness and in September 2017 he will publish his fifth book, ‘Transformative coaching’. Through the Bridgeman Academy, Robert, his wife Monique and their team educate Transformation coaches within the Bridgeman method. Next to this, Robert makes documentaries on injustices in the world. He aims to show how we can transform wrongs into new realities of love, wisdom and compassion. Robert’s second documentary is called
LEX OLTHOF (Camera / Editing)
By nature, Lex Olthof is a soulful person with a great passion for designing and creating. At the art academy Lex has studied fashion design and industrial design with photography as a subsidiary subject. Lex has been a fashion designer and an industrial designer at two prestigious Dutch warehouses for which he has travelled a great deal. After twelve years of being a designer, Lex started a family and decided to start his own business in advertising and photography. In 2009, Lex started an additional business, called 1TUBE.nl, in commercial videos, feel-goods, instruction videos and documentaries.
JOHN AKERMAN ÖZGÜÇ (Music)
John Akerman Özgüç has studied neuropsychology. After the release of his first album, Heliosphere, John has been published in Yoga International. He has signed at Yogitunes and he has been invited for an exclusive collaboration between animators and sound designers led by Kirk McNally (engineer of Bryan Adams, REM and Woonam Kim, animator of films like Star Wars).
John’s first soundtrack will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. As Aquinox he has had multiple collaborations with David Berkeley (US), Ben Parker (UK) and Lady Jay (Ghana).
Lewis Grass Rope is one of the headsmen of Kul Wicasa band (Kui chasja oswe).
Faith Spotted Eagle
Faith Spotted Eagle is one of the leaders of the movement. She comes from the Ihanktowan Sioux Nation. She is Chairman of Yankton Sioux Treaty Council, Grandmother, founder of Brave Heart Society and she became the first Native American to receive a vote for president in the electoral college of the United States.
John Bigelow was the head of the Oceti Sakowin media team. In that role he was responsible for PR, press related matters and social media affairs. A huge responsibility in the turmoil of the situation.
One of the first people I spoke to was Danielle Gennety. A Social permaculture activist from Seattle. She was based in Rosebud camp at the other side of the river from Oceti Sakowin and she was there when the first violent attacks started.
Linda Black Elk
In preparation of this mission I was introduced to Linda Black Elk. An ethnobotanist and advisor for the Medic and Healer council. My sources told me she had an important role in the movement and at the camp.
Manape La Mere
In my search for the heart of Oceti Sakowin, I was directed towards The Horn at the center of the camp. The Horn was a half circle of seven tipis where the Headsmen of the seven fires of the Great Sioux Nation resided. I met Manape La Mere, one of the Headsmen of the Mdwankaton band, who was specialized in treaty rights and the old ways of government of the Great Sioux Nation.
Another Water protector, who was able to explain the situation very well, was Laundi Keepseagle, a proud member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, one of the tribes in the Great Sioux Nation. She was closest to the building site and therefore the most directly threatened by the pipeline construction. I met her at the Prairie Knight Casino hotel, a ten-minute drive from Oceti Sakowin camp, where Lex and I were staying. She was one of the operational leaders of the Oceti Sakowin camp.
Q&A FILMMAKER ROBERT BRIDGEMAN
Q) Why did you make this documentary?
A) In October 2016
How could it be possible that these peaceful, spiritual people were treated this way after centuries of terror. Hadn`t the US Government learned anything from the past?
Lex and Robert undertook this journey in order to show the world the truth behind Standing Rock. The truth of suppression and genocide by the most democratic country in the world.
Their objective was to reach the main encampment of the Great Sioux Nation, Oceti Sakowin. Driving there from the airport, they stumbled upon a roadblock, put there by the Morton County police. Part of their siege of the Oceti Sakowin camp, the 7 fires of the Great Sioux nation and, together with the smaller camps Rosebud and Sacred Stone, the largest prayer camp in the world.
Q) What do you hope to achieve?
A) Lex and Robert undertook this journey in order to show the world the truth behind Standing Rock. The truth of suppression and genocide by the most democratic country in the world.
When Robert was home after his journey to North Dakota, he tried to motivate the Dutch banks ING and ABN AMRO to retract their funding from the DAPL project because of the violation of human rights and the huge environmental risks. He successfully did this via an online campaign, an open letter and several medial publications. Both ING and ABN AMRO have retracted their loans.
Q) Why this trip now?
A) In October 2016 Robert first saw the online footage of peaceful protesters being beaten down by heavy militarized police. Seeing these images he could not believe my eyes… He saw peaceful people who stood up for their rights being beaten down with force. The US Government was suppressing their First Nations, not taking care of them. 500 years of suppression since first contact was still going on in the self-proclaimed most democratic nation in the world. Almost none of the large media channels reported about the standoff between the Great Sioux Nation and The US. On the surface it was a fight about an oil pipeline that was planned through their land. In reality a new chapter in a battle that had lasted for centuries.
He decided to do something right then and now and take up his part in this movement to stop the ongoing abuse of Native Americans by the US. Together with his friend and cameraman Lex they booked a flight to North Dakota to see for themselves what the critical situation was at Standing Rock.
Q) What touched you the most?
A) The Grandmothers and Grandfathers who were protecting their land and water with peaceful songs and ceremonies being beaten down by militarized police with dogs, batons, teargas and water cannons.
Q) What did you learn from this experience?
A) The US Government is suppressing one of the most spiritual people in the world. Just like the Chinese government is suppressing the Tibetan people.
Q) What will be your next project?
A) MEAT, a Dutch documentary about the effects of our meat consumption on the environment, our health and animal wellbeing. Next to this, MEAT will display the many alternatives out there for eating meat. The film is featuring scientists, well-known Dutch people and specialists. Planned February 2018.
April 2016 – Set up Standing Rock
August 2016 – First confrontation
October 2016 – Second confrontation
Februari 22nd 2017- Raid Oceti Sakowin Camp by militarized police
A Bridgeman Foundation project
John Akerman Özgüç
Main characters (in order of appearance)
Linda Black Elk
Laundi Germaine Keepseagle
Kunsi Faith Spotted Eagle
Chairman David Archambault II
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Ché Zen Bruggeman and Luca Bruggeman
Digital Smoke Signals
Mirrors & Hammers
The Young Turks TYT
The Real News
Marketing & PR
Ingeborg Tuinman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Music, courtesy of
Aquinox + Wood_Flutes
Special thanks to
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Council
Steve Sitting Bear
4 Worlds team
Michelle Cook, Water protectors legal collective
Rain on the Earth
Dorieke van Helden
Karin Lindeman- Boere
Unsi Rachelle Figueroa
Terri Wilkerson, Oceti Sakowin media team
Leerentveld Vrijetijd Zwolle, Netherlands
Bridgeman Foundation board
Sanne van Baal