Conscience Point: PBS Shinnecock Documentary Airs Monday

Conscience Point
Conscience Point

Conscience Point, a documentary following the struggle of the Shinnecock Indian Nation’s fight to reclaim its ancestral lands in the Hamptons, airs Monday night on PBS.

The tribe has lost its land the decades to development for luxury mansions and golf courses in one of the wealthiest communities in the nation. The film explores the Shinnecock’s ongoing struggle for their community, heritage, and home.

“The Southampton Town Board has made massive efforts to protect their Colonial efforts, but they don’t make an effort to help preserve our Native American sacred sites,” Rebecca Hill-Genia, American Indian Movement advocate, says in the trailer. “We have to live here together.”

The 74-minute film, part of PBS’ Independent Lens series, won the Victor Rabinowitz & Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice at the Hamptons International Film Festival, where it had its world premier last month. It’s airing on PBS is timed with November being Native American Heritage Month.

It’s the second time in a matter of months that the Shinnecock have made national TV. In September, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah aired a satirical segment about the tribe’s recent controversial construction of an electronic monument in Hampton Bays.

Director Treva Wurmfeld was inspired to make the film after meeting Hill-Genia.

“I was immediately struck by the contrast Becky’s experience of place had with the hundreds of thousands who visit the Hamptons and think of it as a place to go to the beach and rub shoulders with celebrities,” Wurmfeld said in a statement. “This reality check was immense for me and it was because of this first encounter that I suddenly realized, not only did I want to make a film about Becky but that the Hamptons was a hot bed of critical issues we all should be more conscious of.”

Conscience Point airs at 10:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 on PBS. For more information, visit consciencepointfilm.com