Last night, the lacrosse team and Professor Dan Tortora hosted a viewing of the movie “The Medicine Game”. The film follows the life of two of the Thompson brothers in the Onondaga Nation as they seek to play lacrosse at Syracuse University.
If you are familiar with lacrosse, you probably know of the two younger Thompson brothers who were co-winners of the Tewaarton Trophy for best lacrosse player. This film includes them, but focuses on the two older brothers’ journey towards playing at Syracuse. However, the film is not just limited to lacrosse, but to what it means to be a Native American lacrosse player and the obstacles that lay in the path of a college education.
The two brothers, Hiana and Jeremy encounter a multitude of obstacles living on their reservation. When they transfer into the American public school system, they are years behind and cannot read or write in English. Even as they catch up, they do not have the SAT scores to attend Syracuse and must attend Onondaga Community College after they graduate. Hiana ends up not finishing and Jeremy takes three years to finally get to Syracuse, struggling with alcoholism for a short time.
Through the grim outlook that this film offers, our team got a chance to see how lacrosse is doing in the very place that it originated. Unfortunately, life on a reservation is not generous to those who may wish to play lacrosse outside the reservation and at the same time, there is a giant culture clash. Their way of life represented in their traditions, culture and status within America, appears to not mesh neatly with the modern day American lifestyle.
This documentary does a good job of opening up the issues that arise between reservations and modern-day America. As lacrosse has become such a massive game over the past thirty years, hopefully filming these issues through the lens of lacrosse will help it gain a wide audience. Check out more here: http://themedicinegame.com/