Metal Road

For decades, thousands of Navajos worked the railroads, maintaining the transcontinental network. Metal Road explores the dynamics of livelihood, family and the railroads through the lens of a Navajo trackman. The film follows three Navajo railroaders from the 9001 Heavy Steel Gang as they leave their homeland to replace aging railroad tracks from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean under extreme weather conditions. Like other oppressed peoples, Native Americans share a long history of working the least desirable and most dangerous jobs to build the country’s infrastructure. As with the Mohawk high-steel ironworkers who built the skyscrapers in Manhattan, these are team jobs that require a cohesive work if they are to avoid dire consequences. Navajo railroad workers, after many generations, continue today to move across the American landscape to provide for their families.

Total CPB Investment: 

$15,000

Made Possible by CPB's: 

Trickster Films
Montreal, QC
TVPRG - VMM subgrant
$15,000

Topics: 

History & Biography
Diversity