From Badlands to Alcatraz

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A documentary film that weaves the past and present of both Alcatraz and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation into a vivid depiction of the awe-inspiring journey five Lakota youth—Alkapoane White Calf, Lisa and Kelly Waters, and Arlo and Philip Iron Cloud—navigate as they arrive in San Francisco from South Dakota and prepare for the extreme challenge of swimming from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shore in September 2005. It follows the group’s first plunge into the San Francisco bay through their personal and collective challenges, disappointments and triumphs as they strive to conquer both the Alcatraz swim and the dispiritedness connected to conditions on Pine Ridge. Richard Iron Cloud, the first Lakota to do this swim in 2003, and these five, willing to dare themselves into achieving the ‘unachievable,’ are the stars of the film, the deserving recipients of the tribute “You are an inspiration, not only to the Lakotas, but to everyone who wishes to go the ‘extra mile’ in their lives.”
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