By Babette Herrmann -- Today correspondent
LOS ANGELES - The Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony bestowed five golden statues to the crew of the HBO movie ''Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'' Sept. 8. The crew won in the categories of makeup, editing, sound editing and mixing, and cinematography.
During the 59th Annual Primetime Emmys, held Sept. 16 at the Shrine Auditorium, ''Bury My Heart'' snagged one award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. Actors August Schellenberg, who has Mohawk ancestry, Aidan Quinn and Canadian-born actress Anna Paquin were nominated, but failed to garner the coveted statue.
''Bury My Heart'' topped the list of nominations with 17 nods, closely followed by 15 nods for ''The Sopranos.''
''This project has been both a labor of love and a labor of conscience for everyone who worked on it,'' said Executive Producer Dick Wolf. ''I thank the incredible team of professionals who made the dream a reality.''
''Bury My Heart'' is based on Dee Brown's nonfiction book of the same title. Published in 1971, it has sold nearly 5 million copies and has been translated into 17 languages. The script for the film was written by Daniel Giat and directed by Yves Simoneau.
The film chronicles the life of Dartmouth-educated Lakota doctor Charles Eastman, played by Saulteaux actor Adam Beach, the outspoken Lakota Chief Sitting Bull (Schellenberg), and Sen. Henry Dawes (Quinn), the tireless implementer of governmental policy. The Lakota people were losing their identity and land, including the sacred Black Hills, to the government, which Sitting Bull vehemently opposed. His opposition eventually led to his untimely death.
About two weeks after Sitting Bull's death, hundreds of men, women and children were gunned down by the 7th Cavalry at an encampment in Wounded Knee (Dec. 29, 1890).
The massacre at Wounded Knee came on the heels of the Ghost Dance movement. Paiute religious leader Wovoka, played by Wes Studi, told his followers that if they wore ''ghost shirts'' they would be protected from the white man's bullets. Followers were seen as a threat, and many were rounded up and taken to the fate-filled encampment, now forever etched into the earth and memories of the Lakota people.
The ''Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'' DVD was released Sept. 11. For a detailed synopsis of the film, visit www.hbo.com/films/burymyheart.