LITTLE FALLS, NJ -- TAPintoTV Executive Producer Brian Brodeur talked with Director Katsitsionni Fox and Editorial Consultant Corinna Sager about the new documentary film Without a Whisper, the untold story of how indigenous women influenced the early suffragette movement in the United States.
The film “uncovers that hidden history,” said Fox. Women in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy of nations, also known as Iroquois, had equal rights to the men in their communities, with control over property, custody, and their bodies; rights which had been denied to most American women in the mid-1800s, when the crusade for women’s rights in this country was just beginning.
The film is told through the perspectives of two women: Mohawk Clan Mother, Louise Herne, and Professor, Sally Roesch Wagner as they unite to tell this fascinating and generally unknown history. In the film, Wagner recalls her research into the early suffragette movement in the United States, and how she learned of the Haudenosaunee’s influence over many of the early women’s rights pioneers. The film is character-driven and “the story unfolds from the two of them,” Fox said.
Fox pointed out how several American founding fathers, most notably Benjamin Franklin, were inspired by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s governing structure and principles when they began crafting the tenets of what would become the United States, “but something that they left out of their government structure was women,” she said. “That’s the mindset they came from in Europe.”
“The fascinating aspect about it is that women’s rights in the Native American community was non-existent because it was equal, basically,” said Sager. Fox added, “We had no desire to be feminists because we already had that status.”
Without a Whisper has been screened at film festivals across the country and is currently streaming on PBS. To see where you can watch Without A Whisper on a PBS station near you, go to: www.pbs.org/show/without-whisper-konnonkwe and to learn more about the film, go to www.withoutawhisperfilm.com.