Thunderheart is a 1992 American Neo-Western mystery film, directed by Michael Apted from an original screenplay by John Fusco. The film is a loosely based fictional portrayal of events relating to the Wounded Knee incident in 1973, when followers of the American Indian Movement seized the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee in protest against federal government policy regarding Native Americans.
Leo Fast Elk, a tribal council member of a Native American reservation in South Dakota, is murdered. FBI Agent William Dawes assigns Agent Ray Levoi to help investigate. The latter is chosen for his mixed Sioux heritage, which might assist in the inquiry as they interview residents of the reservation.
Ray is apprehensive as he is disconnected from his heritage and does not speak Lakota. Ray is partnered with veteran Agent Frank “Cooch” Coutelle, who has narrowed down the suspect list to Maggie Eagle Bear, a peaceful Native American political activist and schoolteacher, and Jimmy Looks Twice, leader of the radical Aboriginal Rights Movement (ARM).