Filmmaker Bio  |  Film Credits  |  Web Credits

Filmmaker Bio

Julia Dengel

Julia Dengel

Julia Dengel was producer, director, and cinematographer for Cowboys, Indians, & Lawyers. In the film, a massive Western water project pits a radical Native American activist against his own tribal government and their politically connected lawyer. In an intimate portrait of pork barrel politics, Cowboys, Indians, & Lawyers explores Anglo-Indian relations and the American political system through a rural community battle over money, power and water.

Dengel has worked as a documentary cinematographer since 1993. She's recently shot on films such as I Bring What I Love, a feature documentary on Senegalese superstar Youssou NDour, Team Lioness, a feature documentary on American women soldiers who have fought in Iraq, and I'm From Rolling Stone, an MTV reality series.

Dengel’s other directing credits include A Sense of Place, a short documentary chronicling the history of electricity in southwest Colorado. This piece was one product of a yearlong oral history project funded by the Colorado Historical Society and the US West Foundation. She also directed the documentary short, The Wild San Juans which explores the human relationship to the wild national forest lands in Southwest Colorado.

Dengel shot for Jennifer Fox’s Learning to Swim, a documentary on Namkhai Norbu, a Tibetan Buddhist master living in exile in Italy, and served as Associate Editor for An American Love Story, a ten-part documentary series co-produced with American Playhouse that aired nationally in 1999.

Her work has been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, the Colorado Council on the Arts, Independent Television Service, the Wellspring Foundation, the Ettinger Foundation, the Ruth H. Brown Foundation, the Kenney Foundation, the Haymarket People’s Fund, and the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media.

Film Credits

Produced, directed, & written by: Julia Dengel
Co-director/Editor: Jonathan Oppenheim
Executive Producer: Jennifer Fox
Co-Executive Producers: Anthony Braun
Jonathan Oppenheim
Cinematographer & Co-editor: Julia Dengel
Film subjects: Michael Black
Leonard Burch
Jim Decker
Pat Greer
Sam Maynes
Arlene Millich
Sage Remington

Post-production and graphic facilities provided by Rocky Mountain PBS

On-line editor: Daniel Mercure
Program Consultants: Scott Chaffin
Linda Rea
Advisors: Jerry Mander
Toby McLeod
Manuel Pino
Charles Wilkinson
Editing Consultants: Anthony Braun
Janet Dalton
Tanaz Eshaghian
Robby Fahey
Penny Falk
David Liu
Daniel Mercure
Assistant Editors: Regan Bach
Justin Keen
Sonia Malfa
Matthew Marvullo
Bene Naudin
Erin Olinger
Melina Parrish
Nir Zats
Additional Camera: Regan Bach
Anthony Braun
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Jeanne Costello
Rich Fletcher
Group 4 Teleproductions
Michael Lutzky
Assistant Camera: Regan Bach
Nicholas Brown
Jeanne Costello
Justin Keen
Gwen Lachelt
Erin Olinger
Anahita Riazi
Graphic Design: Tom Manion
Photography: Andrew Councill
Carl Geers
Lisa Sumi
Fiscal sponsors: Durango Arts Center
Durango Community Access Television
Women Make Movies

Appearing in the film:

Ben Alexander Jonathan Katz
Christine Arbogast Susan Kimbler
Anna Aurilio Judy Knight-Frank
Bar D Wranglers Ray Kogovsek
Tom Bartels Jill Lancelot
Adrien Bettelheim Jack Maynes
Tilly Bishop Thomas & Kevin McCulloch
Melodie Blakeslee Scott McElroy
Frieda & Charles Blassingame Evert Oldham
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell Elizabeth Osborne
David Conrad Steven Patrick
Kimberly Coy Lori Potter
Courtney Cuff John Rehorn
Rafael De Gennaro Robert Roach
Rep. Peter Defazio David Robbins
Phil Doe Rufe Romero
John Echohawk Patrick Schumacher
Rick Ehat Jack Scott
Rep. Vic Fazio Kathleen Sengstock
Clement Frost Mark Smith and class
Ray C. Frost Eric Stein
Allen Gates Jerry Swingle
Richard Griswold Cena Swisher
Stais Harlan Bob Taylor
Steven Harris Elizabeth Taylor
Mindi & "Kimo" Higgins Erwin Taylor
Sheldon House Stephen Thibodeau
Christopher & Michele Hurley Mary Wells

Aerials supplied by Lighthawk, Merry Schroeder, Wings of Change, G.L. Scarborough

Transcription: Jessica Ball, Rose Dow, Mary Kelly, Cynthia Trautmann

Special thanks to:

Bill Adams Elizabeth Meyer
Julius Ames Daniel Money
ALP water Conservancy Board Natural Resource Defense Council
Badly Bent Sarah Neuberger
Benjy Bernhardt Paula Noonan
Robb Braphy
Josie & Netalia Oppenheim
Laura & Tony Brown Gary Penington
Molly Brown Bill Plotkin
Bliss Bruen John Powers
Bureau of Reclamation Clarence Pressley
Peter Butler Michael Ramsey
Cynthia Carter
Dan Randolph
Diane Cerafici Merilee, Rob, Ed, Maureen, & John Refvem
Richard O Clemmer-Smith Trisha Rickey
Tom Craig Trey & Christina Sabatelli
Laura Danly San Juan Citizens Alliance
Alexis Dengel Donna Sanford
Patrick Dressen Rick & Cy Scarborough
June & Jeanne Duffy Joseph Schaub
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
Sally Schwager
Dan Entingh Jim Schoedler
Ann & Leo Epstein Gretchen Schwartz
Kerthy Fix Sean Slattery
Kent Ford Southern Ute Indian Cultural Museum
Andy & Audrey Franklin Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Mickey Friedman Southwest Water Conservation Board
Edna Frost Taxpayers for Common Sense
Bridgit Dengel & Ray Gaspard Martha & Dusty Teal
Mitchell Greenhill Stacia Thompson
Constance Harvey Vivian Trakinski
Cynthia Hessin
Tracy Hewat Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe
Caroline Johnson Brian Wagner
Jay Kenney Cathy Wint
Terry Knight Ryan Wyatt
Jay Knott Debra Zimmerman
Rob Licht  

Archival film and video materials from the collections of the Library of Congress

Archival photos courtesy the Southern Ute Indian Cultural Museum

“Big Sandy River”
Traditional, performed by Badly Bent
Courtesy of Badly Bent

“The Portland Cement Factory at Monolith California”
“Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Phillip XIV of Spain”
“Revelation on the Banks of Pawtuxent”
Written and performed by John Fahey
© Terrapin Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Takoma Records/Concord Music Group, Inc.

“Indian Pacific RR Blues”
“Steamboat Gwine Round De Bend”
“Orinda Moraga”
“Worried Blues”
“Summer Cat By My Door”
“On the Sunny Side of the Ocean”
Written & performed by John Fahey
© Tortoise Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Takoma Records/Concord Music Group, Inc.

“Poor Boy”
Written by John Fahey and Bukka White, performed by John Fahey
© Terrapin Music
Courtesy of Takoma Records/Concord Music Group, Inc.

“The Yellow Princess”
“Requiem for Russell Blaine Cooper”
Written & performed by John Fahey
© Terrapin Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Vanguard Records, A Welk Music Group Company

“Lava On Waikiki”
Written & performed by John Fahey
© Tortoise Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Rounder Records

Written by Matter Flinner, performed by Phillips, Grier, & Flinner
© Compass Records
Courtesy of Compass Records

Cowboys, Indians, & Lawyers is a co-production of Walking Shadow Productions LLC, KUED and Rocky Mountain PBS in association with Independent Television Service with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

This program was produced by Walking Shadow Productions LLC who is solely responsible for its content.

© 2005 Walking Shadow Productions LLC, All rights reserved.

Web Credits

Web Site by Mark Pfohl

Web Production, Development, Design, and Programming: Mark Pfohl

Web site made possible by:

New York State Council on the Arts

Back to top

Photo of Julia Dengel by Lisa Sumi.


When to Watch

Cowboys, Indians, & Lawyers is coming to PBS starting April 2007
Check your local listings.

Buy the Program

dvd cover for film

Cowboys, Indians, & Lawyers is available on DVD and VHS.
Purchase the film