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Winner - Best of Show

* CLICK HERE for our Q&A with co-director Elizabeth Castle, and subjects Marcella Gilbert and Madonna Thunder Hawk

In the 1970s, with the swagger of unapologetic Indianness, organizers of the American Indian Movement (AIM) fought for Native liberation and survival as a community of extended families. 

WARRIOR WOMEN is the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, one such AIM leader who shaped a kindred group of activists' children - including her daughter Marcy - into the "We Will Remember" Survival School as a Native alternative to government-run education. Together, Madonna and Marcy fought for Native rights in an environment that made them more comrades than mother-daughter. Today, with Marcy now a mother herself, both are still at the forefront of Native issues, fighting against the environmental devastation of the Dakota Access Pipeline and for Indigenous cultural values. 

Through a circular Indigenous style of storytelling, this film explores what it means to navigate a movement and motherhood and how activist legacies are passed down and transformed from generation to generation in the context of colonizing government that meets Native resistance with violence.

This film is sponsored by the Starview Foundation

Directors' Bio:

Christina D. King is a Peabody Award Nominated producer, director, and writer whose work spans documentary, film, and television with a focus on human rights issues, civic engagement through storytelling, and democratizing filmmaking opportunities. Christina produced the narrative feature film WE THE ANIMALS at Sundance 2018, awarded the NEXT Innovator Award and nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards. She is an enrolled member of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma.

Dr. Elizabeth "Beth" Castle works at the intersection of media, scholarship, and activism as a Shawnee-descended anti-racist educator committed to liberating and sharing unknown histories of resistance. She started the Warrior Women Project (WWP) to preserve the oral histories of Indigenous activists and disrupt the dominant historical narrative through her book Women were the Backbone, Men were the Jawbone: Native Women’s Activism in the Red Power Movement.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    64 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Christina D. King, Elizabeth A. Castle
  • Producer
    Anna M. Pitman
  • Cast
    Madonna Thunder Hawk, Marcella Gilbert
  • Cinematographer
    Andreas Burgess, John G. Larson
  • Editor
    Keiko Deguchi, Kristen Nutile
  • Music
    Giulio Carmassi, Bryan Scary