Featuring film subjects Madonna Thunder Hawk (Lakota) and Marcy Gilbert (Lakota) and director Elizabeth A. Castle in person
“This is our time. You gotta be ready to drop everything and go if you feel it’s important enough.”—Madonna Thunder Hawk
Warrior Women is the story of mothers and daughters fighting for Native rights in the American Indian Movement (AIM). Beginning in 1970s, the film unveils a female perspective of major moments of AIM and their relationship to Indigenous teachings and examines the impact of their political struggles on the next generation. 2018, DCP, US, 64 minutes.
As Native Americans and Native descendants, respectively, we are interested in pushing the visual boundaries of traditional documentary filmmaking to create a more atemporal experience that better conveys how we and our main characters actually see and engage with the world as Indigenous women. Known as the 4th World, this context creates space for us to be ourselves, rather than filter our stories through a European worldview of leadership, power, and identity. To achieve this lens-shift in the film, we made Warrior Women by trying to maximize the storytelling potential of art and design as it relates to intergenerational trauma, loss, settler colonialism, sexual violence, connection to land, reclaiming Native identity, and ultimately the decolonizing of our minds and spirits in an expression of “unapologetic Indian-ness.”