The Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center: for more than 120 years, Mohawk ironworkers have raised America’s modern cityscapes. They are called “sky walkers” because they walk fearlessly atop steel beams just a foot wide, high above the city. Who are these Mohawk sky walkers? What is their secret for overcoming fear? Has “sky walking” replaced an ancient rite of passage? Or is it the pure need to adapt in order to survive? And what is their life really like, when every Friday at quitting time, they jump in their cars and make the eight-hour drive up north to their families on the reservation? This documentary looks at Indian life in the 21st century, from the fragile hierarchy on top of the breathtaking steel structures in New York City to life ‘on the Rez’ where problems like unemployment and crime make it hard to see the pristine beauty of the surrounding lands. The film allows access to the lives of those ironworkers and, in the process, offers a different perspective on contemporary Native Americans. Directed by Katja Esson. Produced in association with WDR and ARTE.


2011 DE 75 min
Festival Year: 2012
Types: Documentary
Topic: Sustainable Living