Last year’s Hidden Figures introduced the world to three underrecognized women of color who changed American history; now the film Te Ata is bringing another to light. The biopic tells the story of Mary Thompson Fisher, aka “Te Ata,” a Chickasaw woman who became a celebrated storyteller in the 1920s and remained active through the 1980s. Born during an era when the federal government was aggressively taking land from Native Americans, and most Americans had no knowledge of or respect for her people’s traditions, Te Ata pivoted from success as a Broadway actress to becoming a voice for Native Americans. Her performances shared hundreds of stories, from her tribe and others, with audiences worldwide; her admirers included President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth. Watch the first trailer for this extraordinary true story, above.
Te Ata stars Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World, Sons of Anarchy) in the title role, along with Dances with Wolves Oscar nominee Graham Greene and theTwilight saga’s Gil Birmingham. The film will debut in Te Ata’s home state of Oklahoma on Sept. 29, before opening in limited release on Oct. 13.
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