Apache 8, a documentary that was just released this March, follows the real life experiences and challenges of eight women firefighters from the White Mountain Apache tribe in Arizona. Banning together to make a difference, these women have been fighting fires in Arizona and all over the United States for over 30 years. This group is the first and longest lasting all-women fire fighting crew in the U.S.
After watching the trailer for this documentary (posted below), I think the most inspirational point made, is how the women are doing the stereotypical “man” job. As we all can probably admit, firefighting is dangerous, with that being said, it is an occupation usually associated with men. However, these women showed everyone just how much their gender can really do. From the get-go citizens wrote off these women. With the heavy equipment necessary for a fireman, the ladies heard nothing but discouraging comments: “You’re too small, you’re too thin, you can’t do it, you won’t be able to handle the job”. Little did the observers know that each discouraging comment fueled their motivation to form an all-women firefighting crew even more!
These women made a name for themselves and are now completely respected. Not only does this film follow the women’s firefighting lives, but it also follows their personal lives. Focusing on four of the crew members from Apache 8, the film covers the Sundance- a ritual that takes place once girls hit puberty; and it also covers the basic history and culture of the Apache tribe.
I can’t wait until this documentary is aired on PBS, it will be one worth watching.