The Cherokee Word for Water is a feature-length motion picture that tells the story of the work that led Wilma Mankiller to become the first modern female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Set in the early 1980s, The Cherokee Word for Water begins in the homes of a small town in rural Oklahoma where many houses lack running water and others are little more than shacks. The movie is told from the perspective of Wilma Mankiller and full-blood Cherokee organizer Charlie Soap who join forces to battle opposition and build a 16-mile waterline system using a community of volunteers. In the process, they inspire the townspeople to trust each other, to trust their way of thinking, and to spark a reawakening of the universal indigenous values of reciprocity and interconnectedness. This project also inspired a self-help movement in Indian Country that continues to this day. The movie is dedicated to Wilma Mankiller’s vision, compassion and incredible grace.
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We had a chance to watch a screener, and it was really good. A lot of times with independent movies you will have sub par acting and poor camera quality. Not so with The Cherokee Word for Water. Both Kimberly Guerrero and Mo Brings Plenty are terrific actors. Their portrayal of Wilma Mankiller and Charlie Soap really gave me a sense of what they were going through when trying to help the other people of their tribe. The camera work is terrific, great scenes and lighting throughout the movie. If you have a chance to see The Cherokee Word for Water don't hesitate. And if you don't have anyplace in your area showing it then go to tugg.com and request a screening.
This movie is so beautifully rendered and moving that i got lost in time and space! And importantly, it is a movie that every american should see, as Wilma Mankiller's life story and her commitment to community self-actualization is crucial to understanding our past as well as informing the present--when it is often easier to complain than to do. The acting (many of the actors are native american) is superb, the tempo unhurried, the cinematography extraordinary, the music phenomenal.