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Oscar-nominated Lily Gladstone is once again on the movie screen, this time in the recent film Fancy Dance, now streaming on Apple Tv+.

In the 90-minute film created by Erica Tremblay (Seneca-Cayuga), Gladstone plays Jax, a queer Native woman living on the Seneca–Cayuga Nation Reservation in Oklahoma. In the wake of her sister’s disappearance, Jax is tasked with caring for her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson), while also fighting to keep her in custody. The film deals with themes of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and tribal sovereignty.

Lily

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“What begins as a search gradually turns into a far deeper investigation into the complexities and contradictions of Indigenous women moving through a colonized world while at the mercy of a failed justice system,” Apple said about the film in a statement.

Fancy Dance originally premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. For more than a year, the film remained undisturbed until Apple purchased it in February. It played in limited theaters at the end of June, and is now available for streaming on Apple TV+, as of June 28.

In March, Native News Online spoke with Gladstone ahead of the Oscars. She had earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress as Mollie Burkhart in Martin Scorsese's “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a film that follows a stoic Osage woman from the 1920s whose relatives were murdered by her white husband (Leonardo Decaprio) in pursuit of oil wealth. 

The irony: a century after the FBI was created to save Native lives and investigate a string of murders on the Osage Nation, Indigenous people go missing or are murdered more than any other race in the country. The FBI, the agency responsible for investigating many of the crimes in Indian Country, has done little to stop the crisis. 

Gladstone likened the plot of Fancy Dance to a modern-day Killers of the Flower Moon.

“It really is kind of incredible how much those (Fancy Dance and Killers of the Flower Moon)  need to be seen together,” Gladstone told Native News Online in March. “Because it's the same issues 100 years later, on the same land. Time changes, but these systemic issues remain.”

In February, Native News Online interviewed Tremblay about her work creating Fancy Dance, a film that was written and shot in Oklahoma on Cherokee land.

“We made the film with so many incredible Indigenous and Oklahoma crew members, and to get to make the film with my friends and collaborators is such a dream,” she said. “I'm just hoping that it reaches as many Native American living rooms as possible.”

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