March 29, 2011

Preview of Apache 8

Apache 8:  Fighting Fire with WomenThe documentary Apache 8, which will be showing on April 3 at the Native American Film + Video Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, tells of the women firefighters from the White Mountain Apache Tribe of Arizona. “You never knew what you were going to face,” says firefighter Katy Aday early in the film. “You were with a bunch of women that could handle anything.”

The crew was founded in the mid-1970s and became well known as one of the top wildlife fire fighting crews in the country. But it remained largely unknown outside the fire fighting community and the Fort Apache Reservation. When director Sande Zeig first learned of its existence, she knew immediately she wanted to document it. “I was in the Phoenix airport on my way home,” Zeig recalled, “and I walked through this group of women. They were all ages, their 20s through their 50s, all in yellow shirts. I didn’t know who they were. I didn’t know they were Native American. I asked and they said they were Apache firefighters, and I said—the words just fell out of my mouth, I said, ‘I want to make a film about you.’”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.

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