Elizabeth Castle/Christina D King | UNITED STATES | 2018 | 57 MIN | FEATURE DOC | ENGLISH
Warrior Women chronicles the lifelong struggle of a Lakota mother and daughter in the American Indian Movement’s fight for civil rights from the 1970s to today, where they are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, ND. As we examine the world and challenges of mothers and daughters who are more activist cohorts with each other than parent/child, their journey also illuminates the devastating continuity of violence against Native Americans at the hands of the US Government.
The women of AIM fought from a vulnerable place only the matriarchs could understand; for them, the movement was a battle for their children and the culture they hoped to preserve for them. Through dynamic group and individual interviews, newly uncovered archival materials, exclusive verite footage, and emotional video art, we will experience Madonna Thunder Hawk’s dedication to Red Power - a fight that often left her daughter, Marcy, feeling more like her mother’s ‘comrade’ than her child - and hear, for the first time, from one of the movement’s most determined, and overlooked organizers.
Madonna and Marcy are still at the forefront of modern Native issues as they set up camp in the summer of 2016 to occupy and protect the Missouri River from the “Black Snake” of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While they staff supply tents, stand against water cannons during militarized police attacks, and share knowledge with the next generation of organizers, Madonna’s personal demons are brought full circle as she knows well what the US Government and corporations can do to the Native way of life along the Missouri River. The pressures of the Movement and the expectations of being Madonna's daughter eventually took a toll on Marcy. Recovery and reconciliation with her mother took decades. Through the eyes of Madonna and Marcy, we see a female perspective on a crucial chapter in our history, one that sparks questions about what it is to be a warrior and simultaneously a mother; what it means to grow up in the shadow of fierce activism, and how activist legacies are passed down. In Warrior Women, we come to understand that activism is not just a news story, a protest or a march; it is woven it is woven into the fabric of the lives we lead.