Williams Lake Film Club to Screen Documentary Pure Grit – Williams Lake Tribune

The Williams Lake Film Club is thrilled to kick off the fall season with a September 8 special screening of Pure Grit, a documentary centered on the life of Shoshone bareback horse racing champion Sharmaine Weed and her family. Filmed by award-winning documentary filmmaker, Kim Bartley, on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, USA, the film is both a thrilling adventure, full of gripping horse racing sequences, and an intimate depiction of a personal, family and societal struggle.

The film also encapsulates the thrill of young love and Sharmaine’s budding relationship with girlfriend Savannah Martinez. Bartley spent three years filming with his subjects, and the narrative balances many of Sharmaine’s adverse situations and difficulties, including childhood sexual abuse, with his joys, triumphs, hopes, and accomplishments. We’re thrilled to be able to share exclusive interviews with Sharmaine Weed and filmmaker Kim Bartley here.

In an interview with the Williams Lake Film Club, Shoshone said she was nervous seeing herself the first time she watched Pure Grit, noting that she had to put her insecurities aside while filming.

“I cried watching it the first few times because (it) captured some of the hardest times of our lives. It was tears of sadness and joy at the same time because I knew how much my brother Kashe was excited about the documentary. And some people who were in the movie moved on to the spirit world,” she said. “The tears of joy came from the fact that we’re still coping and growing, by staying strong, I changed my life. I got sober because of my alcoholism which has been going on for two and a half years now.

Kim Bartley, the director and cinematographer of the documentary, Pure Grit, said it was a struggle to get the film made.

“…returns were very expensive, so we begged and borrowed and it got expensive, but I think if you feel passionate about making a movie, you take it at your own pace and keep going. I would have liked to be able to include Sharmaine’s big victory in the summer after we stopped filming, but we had already finished editing, it’s a big regret for both of us.

Bartley believes the Shoshone story will be accessible to many audiences.

“I would love for women in Indigenous and Indigenous communities to see it and myself and Sharmaine would love for it to be seen in schools and youth groups in Indigenous communities across the United States and Canada,” said Bartley. “But I would also like this film to be seen by a wider audience beyond the indigenous communities. Documentaries of this nature often exist in the niche arthouse circuit, I really hope we get out of that and can share Sharmaine’s story and culture with a much wider audience.

The screening of Pure Grit will take place in Williams Lake on Thursday, September 8 at Paradise Cinemas.

Tickets are $10 and are available for pre-purchase on The Open Book now. Tickets can also be purchased in the cinema lobby before the show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

All net proceeds from this screening will be donated to the Williams Lake Pride Society.

The full Williams Lake Film Club interview with Sharmaine Weed and director Kim Bartley will be available at www.wltribune.com.

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