‘Mesmerizing.’ ‘Profound.’ ‘Captivating.’ ‘Brilliant.’ ‘Beautiful.’ ‘Poignant.’ ‘Perfect.’ Any one of these words could be used as a single term to describe one of the newest documentaries to hit the film festival circuit, Mankiller, which chronicles the life of the Oklahoma Cherokee woman chief Wilma Mankiller. But to me, they all apply.
The documentary is a poignant, thoughtful and captivating documentary that tells a veritable “Phoenix rising from the ashes” story about a woman who, as a little girl, was forced to participate in the Indian relocation program and leave her Cherokee tribe and culture behind.
The story of Wilma Mankiller is well-known to many in Indian country, but the combination of efforts of Native director Valerie Red-Horse Mohl and Hollywood heavyweight Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens, The Incredible Hulk and the The Walking Dead) as the executive producer provided some long-needed feminine energy to create a true work of artistic perfection.
The documentary never lags and consistently keeps the viewer engaged.
This film is perfectly crafted to deliver a message of hope, empowerment and inspiration. The trajectory of this powerful woman is a brilliant thing to watch.
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Wilma Mankiller, with all of her strengths and aspirations, was still a woman with real feelings and challenges, struggling with health issues and a sense of mortality that makes the viewer yearn for her to have been on the planet just a bit longer.
It’s a beautiful work of art, one that many documentary filmmakers need to watch for inspiration.
Bravo to Valerie-RedHorse Mohl and Gale Anne Hurd for delivering a beautiful story to Indian country.
Mankiller should be on everyone’s watch list.
Mankiller premiered at the LA Film Festival on Monday, June 19, 6:15PM, at the ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City.
For more information visit http://www.mankillerdoc.com
Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor Follow @VinceSchilling