Directors: Tim Kelly & Charlie Soap
USA * 92 min. * Feature
WON 2013 Red Nation Film Award of Excellence “Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role”
A Cherokee community, its indomitable courage, and the leadership of an extraordinary woman and man.
The Cherokee Word for Water is a film about the events surrounding the late Wilma Mankiller’s life that led to her political career, and ultimately to becoming the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
The film begins with Mankiller returning to Oklahoma from California in the late 1970s, and follows her as she meets her future husband, Charlie Soap, and has a near-fatal car wreck, but the film is centered on the Bell Water project. Bell is a community in the Cherokee Nation where most residents did not have indoor plumbing. Mankiller, the director of the Nation’s Community Development Department at the time, and Soap, who also worked for the Nation, began an outreach program to the community which led to the tribe supplying equipment and assistance for a 16 mile waterline that members of the community dug themselves. The project gained considerable attention as a model of self-sufficiency and self-determination in Indian country. Based on her popularity from the Bell project, Mankiller successfully ran for Deputy Chief in 1983; the position led to her succeeding Chief Ross Swimmer when he was appointed as head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1985.
Stars: Kimberly Guerrero, Moses Brings Plenty, Steve Reevis, Zahn McClarnon.
Writers: Tim Kelly, Gary Miranda, Louise Rubacky
Producers: Ashley Friedman, Paul Heller, Kristina Kiehl, Perry Pickert, Laurene Powell, Louise Rubacky, Claudette Silver, Charlie Soap
Event Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Event Producer: Red Nation Celebration Institute
Event Location: Laemmle ‘Music Hall’ Theatre | 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills
Event Times: 4:40pm
Admission: $7.00 per person, per ticket