Medicine Game, The

Los Angeles, California
August 12, 2015 - 9:00pm

The Medicine Game shares the remarkable journey of two brothers from the Onondaga Nation driven by a single goal; to beat the odds and play lacrosse for natio

Filmmaker Lukas Korver teamed up with Jason Halpin on their documentary debut, The Medicine Game. The Medicine Game follows two young brothers from the Onondaga Nation, who dream of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. The Medicine Game was the most watched video on the day it was released on PBS Video. Georgiana Lee, the Assistant Director of Vision Maker Media, spoke with Korver and Halpin as well as one of the brothers, Jerome (Hiana) Thompson.

Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. With the dream nearly in reach, the boys are caught in a constant struggle to define their Native identity, live-up to their family's expectations and balance challenges on and off the Reservation.

“Having grown up only an hour away from the Onondaga Nation, I was always fascinated by the rumors I heard of what life was like there—tales of a lawless territory unsafe for outsiders. I had to see what life was really like on the Nation, not only to open my own eyes, but hopefully many others as ignorant as myself. I was introduced to the Thompson family and was mesmerized by their story, their personalities, and their openness to a complete stranger from California with a video camera.

Jason Halpin is an attorney in Syracuse, New York. Jason graduated from Syracuse University in 2003, where he studied Television, Radio and Film at the Newhouse School.

Lukas has been fortunate to have spent the last ten years working on documentary, commercial, and television projects, shooting all over the United States as well as Europe, Australia, Africa, China, and the Middle East.

Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. With the dream nearly in reach, the boys are caught in a constant struggle to define their Native identity, live-up to their family's expectations and balance challenges on and off the Reservation.

Follow-up series now available
The Medicine Game: Four Brothers, One Dream

Brothers Jeremy and Jerome Thompson grew up in two worlds--two cultures. As members of the Onondaga Tribe, the brothers grew up in the sovereign Onondaga Nation, located a few miles south of Syracuse, N.Y. In Lukas Korver’s latest documentary, The Medicine Game, Korver captures the unique bicultural lives of the Thompson brothers as they prepare to transition from high school to college, all while making a name for themselves as two of the best lacrosse players in America.  

“Lacrosse is their dream,” Korver said. “It’s their life.”

 
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