Stories I Didn't Know - Live Q&A



Home Viewing Sun, May 17, 2020 5:00 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:FREE EVENT
Film Info
Is Q&A:True
Programs:New American Visions
Women & Film
Minnesota Made
Runtime:30 min


Sunday, May 17 at 5:00pm: Join MSPIFF and Stories I Didn't Know directors Rita Davern and Melody Gilbert for a live Q&A and conversation about the film and to take your questions.

Register for the Free Zoom Q&A

Director Biography

Rita Davern

Rita Davern was born in 1949 in Minnesota, and has worked as a communication and leadership consultant for over two decades. She created Parenting-by-Connection, which helps parents build relationships with children through play and, with Jane Powers, was awarded a Forecast Public Art research and development grant in 2009 to work with Indigenous artists to “map the history of Dakota people" onto present day Twin Cities.

Melody Gilbert

Born in Washington, D.C. Melody Gilbert is no stranger to MSPIFF, where many of her films have screened or debuted. She has directed a number of feature-length independent documentaries for 15 years, which include A Life Without Pain (2005), Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness (2007), The Starfish Throwers (2014), and Silicone Soul (2018).

About the film


As a child growing up, Rita Davern was always told, with pride, how her family once owned Pike Island at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. But when she discovers that her great-grandparents settled on land stolen from the Dakota people who lived there, her family story takes on a more sinister air in this eye-opening documentary.

To make matters even more intriguing, part of the family lore was that these same great-grandparents were driven from Burren region in County Clare, Ireland, forced out by poverty, hunger, and land theft. And so they came West, to America, and to Minnesota, where they inhabited the land of the Dakota people, who had lived there for generations--the oppressed became the oppressor. Davern’s examination into this family secret takes her on a journey to understand what happened and why, and leads her to Ramona Kitto Stately, a Dakota educator and activist. With her help, Davern is able to see the whole story, which she is eager to share and do something about.