Fire from the Heartland
The Awakening of the Conservative Woman

Review by
Sarah Emily Jordan

Director: Stephen K. Bannon
Producers: David N. Bossie, Stephen K. Bannon
Writer: Stephen K. Bannon

  • see biographical notes below

Citizens United: 2010

84 minutes December 2010


Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman is a well produced and well thought out documentary presentation. I came away from the film with more appreciation for some of the women I already was aware of, and with respect and an interest in learning more about others. I believe the film is a good start at listening to the growing voice of Conservative women. We've always been around, but we've finally had enough and are getting louder about it.

Salt of the Earth: personal, founders, pioneers

The film, or video documentary, starts out with an introduction of the cast, titled "Salt of the Earth: The Personal". The cast participates in this film mainly in interviews, though footage of these women in action is also included. At the end of this review I have included brief biographical information for the cast. I was impressed particularly with the personal stories of Sonnie Johnson, who grew up within the welfare system and has a profound appreciation for the family that chose to take her in, Phyllis Schlafly who has had an amazing work ethic throughout her life, Michelle Malkin who spoke of her immigrant parents and their desire to make a way for themselves and their family, and Michele Bachmann whom I have admired for some time and do so even more after viewing the film. It was a good start to the film to give the viewer the opportunity to be aware of the diversity of background that is included in the film and in the Conservative women's movement in general.

Fire from the Heartland next discusses the founding of this country in a segment titled "Salt of the Earth: The Founders". There has been a huge increase in interest in learning the history of our country, particularly the founding of it. More people are learning the Constitution and the principles such as belief in God and His bestowal of our rights. It is obvious that the women interviewed have a profound respect for the founding principles and documents of this country. A huge part of the Conservative women's rise is the understanding of our founding.

The film goes on to discuss several key figures in Conservative women's politics in a segment titled, "Salt of the Earth: The Pioneers". Claire Boothe Luce is highlighted as a strong Conservative women who stood out when very few women were in elected positions. She was strong on cultural issues, and had a deep spiritual faith. Phyllis Schlafly is highlighted for her grassroots work as a Conservative leader. She was hugely instrumental in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She went against not just Liberals but also the establishment Republicans. Margaret Thatcher is highlighted as a strong Conservative women, whose influence reached across the pond and inspired Conservative women here in the USA. Sarah Palin is highlighted as one of today's Conservative woman pioneers. The film does a good job in detailing the impact she had immediately on the political scene when she was selected as a Vice Presidential candidate. Michele Bachmann is also highlighted as she stands up for the Constitution with courage. The Michele Bachmann rally which Sarah Palin attended in support was one of my favorite recent political moments and I enjoyed seeing some of that footage in the film. They both are bright lights for today's Conservative cause. Ann Coulter sums up this segment well:

From Phyllis Schlafly, Margaret Thatcher, Claire Boothe Luce herself right up to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann today it really is stunning how much of the passion of the Conservative movement comes from the women, and by the way, how much of the courage and the strength comes from the women.
The American Crisis: cultural, political, financial

Fire from the Heartland then moves towards addressing some of the problems that are facing the country today. The next segment is titled, "The American Crisis: The Cultural". The left has attempted to break down Americas attachment to Church and family. The Liberal media attacks Judeo-Christian values. There have been continued attempts to take away women's strengths in morality from them. The nation's Founders valued morality, knowing the country could succeed if the people were moral. Independence has also been attacked, as a climate of dependency has been fostered by our government and our media.

The next problem area is addressed in a segment titled, "The American Crisis: The Political". The current political climate fostered by President Obama is aptly described as "gangsta" by Sonnie Johnson and as "T-Ball Nation" by Deneen Borelli. The administration is pushing government dependency and doing so by corruption and furthering the culture of entitlement. There is recognition that the Obama administration is hardly the first at pushing all of these things, but it is certainly at its worst now.

The next segment titled, "The American Crisis: The Financial", I found to be particularly poignant and well crafted. Details about the current debt crisis are given, and the firm call for a reduction in spending is well stated, especially by Congresswoman Bachmann. The government has promised more than it can deliver.

The Fire: tea parties, mama grizzlies

The film then goes on to discuss the Conservative movement in general in the segment titled, "The Fire: The Tea Parties" and the segment after that titled, "The Fire: Mama Grizzlies". Women have played a tremendous role in the Tea Party movement. Several of the cast have been active in the Tea Parties. In fact Jenny Beth Martin was included in Times 100 Most Influential People list for her work in the Tea Parties. Women have been the leaders a lot of the time. Michele Bachmann discusses that the reason so many women have become more active is that "women feel it, in our gut and in our heart," that there is something wrong in our nation. Women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have been the unintended consequences of feminism, they never felt like victims. They just move forward fearlessly. Many women recognize in those two, especially, the same concerns and the same strength and conviction that we feel.

Fire from the Heartland is well done. I recommend it to others, and have heard positive feedback from those who have responded to my recommendation. This is an amazing time in our country's history and Conservative women are playing a huge role. We sense that our country's freedom and our children's future is in danger. So, many of us are voicing our concerns, getting politically active and just doing whatever we can in the defense of ours and future generations rights and liberty.

A brief look at the cast

From Fire from the Heartland (links added; see the film's site for longer biographical sketches):

  • Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, elected in 2006, the first Republican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota.
  • Deneen Borelli is a Fellow with Project 21, a network of black conservatives that is an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research, a public policy group based in Washington, D.C. She promotes the importance of personal responsibility and the benefits of free market policies as a means for social advancement.
  • Ann Coulter is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers. Coulter is the legal correspondent for Human Events and writes a popular syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate.
  • S. E. Cupp, the author of Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity (2010) and co-author of Why You're Wrong About The Right (2008), has a regular online column at the New York Daily News and a regular feature at The Daily Caller. She is a contributing editor at Townhall magazine and a regular contributor to Politico's "Arena.".
  • Michelle Easton, in January 1993, finished twelve years of service in the Administrations of Presidents Reagan and Bush. She received presidential appointments from both Presidents Reagan and Bush with Senate confirmation for her position at the U.S. Department of Education. She is founder and president of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
  • Sonnie Johnson is the Virginia Chapter President of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, an organization formed to be modern day abolitionists, using faith and the Constitution as its guide. New to politics, Johnson gave her first speech in front of a Roanoke Tea Party and hasn't slowed down since. She uses her love of hip-hop and capitalism to spread the message of a free market. You can find her musing at DidSheSayThat or catch her at BlogTalkRadio's WHWDradio.
  • Dana Loesch blogs at Dana Radio and Mamalogues, and hosts her own radio show, The Dana Show: The Conservative Alternative on KFTK FM News Talk 97.1. Beginning as a blogger in 2001, she's a former award-winning newspaper columnist, was selected as one of St. Louis's "30 Under 30" in 2008 and named one of the top 16 most powerful moms online by Neilsen.
  • Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis was elected to represent the people of Wyoming in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.
  • Michelle Malkin is the author of four bestselling books, including the New York Times bestseller Invasion (2002). She is the founder of two of the internet's top conservative blogs, the other being Hot Air.
  • Jenny Beth Martin: in February 2009, one of about 20 people who took part in the original conference call in response to Rick Santelli's now famous rant. Her commitment to building the burgeoning Tea Party movement has made her one of its breakout stars. Martin is a co-founder and the national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella organization that claims 1,800 local affiliates with some 15 million members.
  • Michelle Moore is a political activist, radio host, blogger, and founding leader of Smart Girl Politics and St. Louis Tea Party.
  • Jamie Radtke is a founding board member for Restore the Founders' Vision, and currently is Secretary/Treasurer.
  • Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader in the Conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo.
  • Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, the first woman elected to represent Southern Ohio in Congress, was elected in a 2005 special election.
  • Janine Turner, a native Texan, is probably best known for her role as "Maggie O'Connell" in the television series Northern Exposure and in the series Strong Medicine.


© 2010 Sarah Emily Jordan

Fire from the Heartland, Citizens United
movie trailer and general information

More by Sarah Emily Jordan

She hosted for a time
The Grizzly Hour,
political & cultural discussion weekly
at BlogTalkRadio and then at TalkShoe


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