Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge

Twenty-five-year-old Brooklynite Chris Bashinelli of The Sopranos fame brings a new meaning to the term cultural exchange in Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge.

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Join Global Explorer, Chris Bashinelli, on an introspective adventure through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Embark on a life-changing buffalo harvest, get schooled by a women’s basketball team, be inspired by a 14-year-old suicide prevention activist, and watch Chris shove his arm shoulder-deep up a cow’s backside while trying to better understand employment on the Reservation. With humor and pathos, he uncovers stories of hope and learns how Lakota culture has prevailed in the face of adversity. 

Host and Global Explorer Chris Bashinelli, travels the world to experience life outside of his hometown- Brooklyn, New York. In this program, he visits the Pine Ridge Reservation to explore the often forgotten culture of the Oglala Lakota Native Americans. While there he embarks on a life-changing buffalo harvest, gets schooled by a women’s basketball team, visits with a 14-year-old suicide prevention activist, and finds himself shoulder-deep up a cow’s backside while trying to better understand employment on the Reservation.

Blog Series:

The Vision Maker Media producer workshop opened by eyes in more ways than one. We’ve been working on Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge for almost two years now. The film started as a web series, then it blossomed into a 1 hour program for potential distribution on PBS Plus. Now we have been given a green light for distribution on the National Programming Schedule.

Chris Bashinelli was born an raised in Brooklyn, New York. After a half-decade acting career including a role on The Sopranos (HBO), Chris moved to Tanzania.

Blog Series:

We screened Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge on five different occasions at a total of four different venues both on and off the Pine Ridge Reservation in May 2012. The goal of this project was to have a dialogue with students and teachers about our film. Did we hit the mark? Did we miss it? Did we film in a culturally competent manner? During the screenings we were able to have fruitful conversations with students about how we could improve on our storytelling techniques in the future.

Blog Series:

I just finished reading an article by Cheryl Crazy Bull on behalf of Indian Country Today Media Network. The article, entitled "Education is Key to Prosperity,"really struck a chord with me, and I must say that I whole-heartedly agree.

Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge exposes viewers to a positive, fresh perspective of life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Hosted and executive produced by 24-year-old New Yorker Chris Bashinelli, Bridge the Gap to Pine Ridge follows Bashinelli as he drops in on the day-to-day lives of local residents to find out about life on Pine Ridge, their stories and how they see themselves in the larger context of the world.

 
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