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Some Real Heat
A film by Stefanie Jordan
Germany, 2001, 54 minutes, Color, DVD, English
Order No. W03777
SOME REAL HEAT explores the small and relatively new world of female firefighters in San Francisco and their upward climb to gain access to a male-dominated field. Armed with axes, chainsaws, muscle, heart and determination, six daring women demonstrate how they single-handedly turn gender roles upside down by putting their lives on the line everyday in one of the riskiest jobs around. As they passionately talk about the tools of the trade, overcoming their fears and helping others, they reveal the fascinating history of women fire fighters and the gender bias that barred them from officially entering the U.S. Fire Department until 1974. They also explain the important role women paramedics play in fire departments and the surprising number of medical emergencies that they attend to on a weekly basis – a number that far outweighs actually putting out fires. Uncovering the myth and reality of this dangerous profession, this inspiring piece intimately delves into the strength and character that distinguishes these women as true modern-day heroes.


  • Juliane-Bartel Award - Women's Media Award
  • Hamburg Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Audience Award
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
  • Outfest - Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
  • Inside Out - Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival
  • Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Portland Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Tampa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Fresno Reel Pride Film Festial
  • Michigan Reel Pride Film Festival
  • Seoul Women's Film Festival
  • Documentary Fortnight, Museum of Modern Art, New York

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    “…wry and thought-provoking…directly engages the cultural codes associated with firefighting…as well as the intractable problems of racism, sexism, and homophobia in the ranks…A perfect companion to Hammering it Out.”
    Joseph Boles
    Northern Arizona University

    "…this documentary makes one rethink still ingrained sexist assumptions about what professions women can enter…It resists sensationalizing or glamorizing the deeds of the firefighters. Instead, we leave with some real respect for these bold women."
    Alice Kuzniar
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    "White women and women of color, straight and queer, these are some buff civil servants, role models for young women everywhere."
    Amy Villarejo
    Cinema Studies, Cornell University

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    Some Real Heat is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us