‘Sisters Rising’ film premieres in Brattleboro
From <i>Sisters Rising,</i> a film by local filmmakers Willow O’Feral and Brad Heck.

‘Sisters Rising’ film premieres in Brattleboro

Local filmmakers Willow O’Feral and Brad Heck put spotlight on Native American women

BRATTLEBORO — Join Windham World Affairs Council for the Brattleboro premiere of Sisters Rising, the award-winning film by local filmmakers Willow O'Feral and Brad Heck, on Thursday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at 118 Elliot.

Sisters Rising tackles the global issue of violence against Indigenous women as a powerful feature documentary about six Native American women reclaiming personal and tribal sovereignty.

According to a description of the film, “Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women. 1 in 3 Native women report having been raped during her lifetime and 86 percent of the offenses are committed by non-Native men.”

The film follows women “who refuse to let this pattern of violence continue in the shadows: a tribal cop in the midst of the North Dakota oil boom, an attorney fighting to overturn restrictions on tribal sovereignty, an Indigenous women's self-defense instructor, grassroots advocates working to influence legislative change, and the author of the first anti-sex trafficking code to be introduced to a reservation's tribal court.”

“Their stories shine an unflinching light on righting injustice on both an individual and systemic level,” the filmmakers say.

The film received the Best Film Award at the 2021 Women's Voices Now Film Festival; Best Documentary Feature Award at the 2020 American Indian Film Festival; the Thaddeus Stevens Award at the 2020 Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival; and an Honorable Mention Big Sky Award at the 2020 Big Sky Film Festival.

O'Feral and Heck are alumni of Marlboro College.

A question-and-answer session with the filmmakers will follow the screening.

Like all WWAC events, the screening of Sisters Rising is free and public. Capacity is limited, so preregister for the event at bit.ly/619-sisters-rising. A donation ($10 is suggested) will be accepted at the door.

Current WWAC members, including new members, are invited to join the Sisters Rising afterparty with the filmmakers after the screening.

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