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THROUGH NATIVE EYES
 
This powerful collection of native voices features APACHE 8, about an all-female firefighting unit that has protected their reservation from fire and responded to wildfires around the nation, to TOXIC TRESPASS which covers environmental racism impacting native communities, and MOHAWK GIRLS, a coming of age identity film by the acclaimed Mohawk director, Tracey Deer. Also included is the urgent and heartbreaking FINDING DAWN on the human rights crisis of aboriginal femicide. These are diverse, dynamic, essential native visions, straight from the cameras of some of today's most compelling women directors.

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films in this collection

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Apache 8
A film by Sande Zeig

For 30 years, the all-female Apache 8 unit has protected their reservation from fire and also responded to wildfires around the nation. This group of firefighters, which recently became co-ed, soon earned the reputation of being fierce, loyal and dependable—and tougher than their male colleagues. Facing gender stereotypes and the problems that come with life on the impoverished reservation, the women became known as some of the country’s most elite firefighters. From director Sande Zeig and executive producer Heather Rae (Cherokee), APACHE 8 combines archival footage and present-day interviews and focuses primarily on four women from different generations of Apache 8 crewmembers, who speak tenderly and often humorously of hardship, loss, family, community and pride in being a firefighter. More


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The Desert Is No Lady
A film by Shelley Williams in collaboration with Susan Palmer

With provocative imagery and spirited juxtapositions, THE DESERT IS NO LADY looks at the Southwest through the eyes of its leading contemporary women artists and writers, including author Sandra Cisneros. The nine women profiled are Pat Mora (poet), Sandra Cisneros (writer), Lucy Tapahonso (poet), Emmi Whitehorse (painter), Harmony Hammond (painter), Meridel Rubinstein (photographer), Nora Naranjo Morse (sculptor), Pola Lopez de Jaramillo (painter) and Ramona Sakiestewa (tapestry artist). The Southwest is a border territory - where cultures meet and mix - and the work of these nine women from Pueblo, Navajo, Mexican-American and Anglo backgrounds reflects its special characteristics. THE DESERT IS NO LADY is a vibrant celebration of the diversity of women's creativity and changing multicultural America. More


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Finding Dawn
A film by Christine Welsh

FINDING DAWN puts a human face on a tragedy that has received precious little attention – and one which is surprisingly similar to the situation in Ciudad Juarez, on the other side of the U.S. border. Dawn Crey, Ramona Wilson and Daleen Kay Bosse are just three of the estimated 500 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past 30 years. Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh embarks on an epic journey to shed light on these murders and disappearances that remain unresolved to this day. She begins at Vancouver’s skid row where more than 60 poor women disappeared and travels to the “Highway of Tears” in northern British Columbia where more than two dozen women (all but one Native) have vanished. More

Amnesty Int’l FF Vancouver, Gold Audience Award

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Mohawk Girls
A film by Tracey Deer

In MOHAWK GIRLS, filmmaker Tracey Deer intimately captures the lives of three exuberant and insightful Mohawk teenagers as they face their future. Like Amy, Lauren and Felicia, Deer grew up on the Kahnawake Native Reserve, but she left to attend school. Now, she returns to document two critical years in the lives of these teens who are contending with the unwritten rules of their close-knit community. To move away from the reserve means risking the loss of credibility, or worse, rights as a Mohawk. But to stay is to give up the possibilities offered by the "outside world." With insight, humor and compassion, Deer takes us inside the lives of these three teenagers as they tackle the same issues of identity, culture and family she faced a decade earlier. More


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Navajo Talking Picture
A film by Arlene Bowman

In NAVAJO TALKING PICTURE film student Arlene Bowman (Navajo) travels to the Reservation to document the traditional ways of her grandmother. The filmmaker persists in spite of her grandmother's forceful objections to this invasion of her privacy. Ultimately, what emerges is a thought-provoking work which abruptly calls into question issues of "insider/outsider" status in a portrait of an assimilated Navajo struggling to use a "white man's" medium to capture the remnants of her cultural past. Excellent for film studies as well as those interested in Native American culture. More


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Real Indian
A film by Malinda Maynor

REAL INDIAN is a lighthearted, very personal look at the meaning of cultural identity. As a Lumbee Indian, the filmmaker is constantly confronted with the fact that she doesn't fit any of society's stereotypes for Native Americans. Those stereotypes are imposed by both whites and other Indians, alienating the filmmaker from many of the conventional definitions of Native American identity. REAL INDIAN is a unique look into the fascinating and complex world of Lumbee Indian culture and makes the viewer question perceptions of Native Americans, as well as the meaning of our own cultural identity. More


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Skydancer
A film by Katja Esson

Renowned for their balance and skill, six generations of Mohawk men have been leaving their families behind on the reservation to travel to New York City, to work on some of the biggest construction jobs in the world. Jerry McDonald Thundercloud and his colleague Sky shuttle between the hard drinking Brooklyn lodging houses they call home during the week and their rural reservation, a gruelling drive six hours north, where a family weekend awaits. Their wives are only too familiar with the sacrifices that their jobs have upon family life. While the men are away working, the women often struggle to keep their children away from the illegal temptations of this economically deprived area. More


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Toxic Trespass
A film by Barri Cohen

When Canadian filmmaker Barri Cohen discovers that her ten-year-old daughter’s blood carries carcinogens like benzene and the long-banned DDT, she travels to toxic hotspots to uncover startling clusters of deadly diseases. Juxtaposing interviews with affected families and experts with startling facts and footage, this film offers evidence that industrialized countries are conducting large-scale toxicological experiments on their children. More

Writer’s Guild of Canada, Screenwriting Award: Best Documentary
Columbus Film & Video Festival, Honorable Mention: Best Science & Technology Film



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Equity in Education


The films in this essential collection inspire social change in education. Learn about the role and impact of Title IX, examine gender disparities in math and science, and follow the personal story of an insightful high-school student whose life has been shaped by busing and school integration. See the full collection here.

Behind the Lens:
Women in Cinema

This extraordinary collection features titles that celebrate the lives and achievements of immigrants in the U.S. and explore ongoing struggles of immigrants today.

Shooting Women

As directors, producers, actors, and screenwriters, women have utilized the power of film to create and transform their stories and images. From sexual politics as a cinematic subject in SUFFRAGETTES IN THE SILENT CINEMA and as a cinematographic choice in FILMING DESIRE to interviews with women directors around the globe in SHOOTING WOMEN and SISTERS OF THE SCREEN, this collection presents a look at women’s crucial contributions to cinema’s history and global reach.


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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us