November 26, 2012

Cherokee Word for Water premieres

New film 'Cherokee Word for Water' shows pivotal moment in tribe's history

By Michael SmithThe Cherokee concept of "gadugi" means working together to solve a problem. That's what happened in the tiny community of Bell about 30 years ago in building a waterline and bringing fresh drinking water to the people of the town, located southeast of Tahlequah.

The volunteer effort, and the efforts of Wilma Mankiller and her husband to facilitate the project, played a role in Mankiller later becoming the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.

These are among the events depicted in "The Cherokee Word for Water," a feature film celebrating the courage and determination of a resilient people and a pioneering woman in Mankiller.

The picture opens with a private premiere Thursday followed by a week of screenings at Circle Cinema in Tulsa beginning Friday.
'Cherokee Word for Water,' film about Wilma Mankiller, to premiere at Circle Cinema

By Michael OverallAfter watching several audition tapes, the real-life Charlie Soap was already leaning toward a certain actor to play him in a new movie, "The Cherokee Word for Water."

And the casting director mentioned that the actor just happened to be waiting outside the door for a chance to meet Soap.

Seen recently in the box-office flop "Cowboys vs. Aliens," Moses Brings Plenty hardly counts as a household name.

But Soap wasn't looking for star power.

"The moment I saw him, I thought, 'That's me walking through the door.' There was this phenomenal bonding between us right off the bat."

Based on a true story about Soap and his wife, the late Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller, the movie will have its public debut Friday night at Tulsa's Circle Cinema.

But a select group of supporters saw an early screening Thursday during an invitation-only premier at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Wilma Mankiller Movie.

Below:  Oren Lyons and Mo Brings Plenty.

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