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Women lead Montana’s red-state resistance movement

After the election of President Donald Trump, grassroots resistance movements were assembled across the country, even in red states. In Montana, where Trump won over 56 percent of the vote, a group of women from across the state begun building their own anti-Trump coalition immediately after the election.

Filmmaker Brad Rothschild followed the women’s journey, from initial post-election shock, to facing hard truths like the existence of racism in their communities, to organizing for change, in a documentary he directed and produced “Half the Big Sky.”

Rothschild spoke with Salon about the film.

What drew you to telling a post-election story centered on women in Montana?

I had heard about the special congressional election that was going to be held in Montana in May and was put in touch with Robbie Gammack, who is featured in the film. Robbie and I talked a few times about the increased political activism around Montana following Trump’s election and we were trying to figure out if there was a story there aside from the congressional election. One day, Robbie called me and said, “I’ve got it. The story is about the women activists here.” I immediately realized that she was right and booked a ticket to Montana.

What was your creative approach with this particular story?

I knew that I wanted Robbie Gammack to serve as the tour guide on the journey through Montana, so we put the camera on her and had her take us around the state. Also, since Judy Fjell is a singer as well as an activist, her music became an important part of this piece. As the story unfolded, I recognized how important social media, particularly Facebook, have been in helping people organize their political activity; so we used Facebook as a storytelling device as we edited the film.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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