Mankiller Documentary Film Review

James Schnepf/Courtesy Wilma Mankiller Foundation/Mankiller Documentary

Vincent Schilling

Mankiller is amazing:

Bravo to Valerie-RedHorse Mohl and Gale Anne Hurd for delivering a beautiful story to Indian country.

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.

Courtesy - Greg Verville / GV Photography/At the premiere of ‘Mankiller”: Native director Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (on right) and Hollywood heavyweight and executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (‘The Terminator,’ ‘Aliens,’ ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and the ‘The Walking Dead.’)

The documentary never lags and consistently keeps the viewer engaged.

Related:  Walking Dead Producer Gale Anne Hurd on Premiere of Mankiller

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.

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.

Courtesy Wilma Mankiller Foundation/Wilma Mankiller reads to young students.

Its a beautiful work of art, one that many documentary filmmakers need to watch for inspiration.

Related: Valerie Red-Horse Mohl Talks About Mankiller Documentary 

Bravo to Valerie-RedHorse Mohl and Gale Anne Hurd for delivering a beautiful story to Indian country.

Mankiller should be on everyones watch list.


Mankillerpremiered at the LA Film Festival on Monday, June 19, 6:15PM, at the ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City.  

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