Apache 8

A film by Sande Zeig

2011 | 57 minutes | Color | DVD | English/Apache | Subtitled | Order No. 121049 |

SYNOPSIS

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. The women are separated from their families, face tribe initiation, and struggle to make a living in a community ravaged by unemployment and substance abuse. But while the women may have initially set out to try and earn a living in their economically challenged community, they quickly discover an inner strength and resilience that speaks to their traditions and beliefs as Native women.

PRESS

"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."

PBSNewshour

"Interweaving the scenes of raging fires, intense training sessions, and disrupted home life are personal stories of sacrifice, tragedy, pride, and accomplishment. …a good resource for women’s studies and Native American history classes."

Booklist

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • Santa Fe Film Festival
  • Native American Film & Video Festival
  • Native Eyes Film Showcase
  • VisionMaker Film Festival
  • Albuquerque Film Festival

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Sande Zeig

Sande Zeig is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her short film, Central Park, premiered at Sundance in 1994. She went on to direct a feature, The Girl, based on a short story by renowned French writer Monique Wittig that premiered at the Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals in 2001. Her documentary Soul Masters: Dr. Guo & Dr. Sha, was released in April 2008, by Beyond Words Distribution. Zeig is president of Artistic License Films, a film distribution company that has distributed more than one hundred films including films by Ismail Merchant, Michel Negroponte, Jim Stark, Kore-eda Hirakazu, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. She is head of the Media Department for Institute of Soul Healing and Enlightenment. Zeig is developing a documentary on Monique Wittig, her partner, with whom she collaborated on a book, screenplays and plays. (10/11)

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