A rapidly growing community in Northwest Montana is caught in a web of intolerance and conflict.
Young men and women competing to become firefighters not only test their courage, but learn to navigate cultural divides and to trust one another.
Patrice O’Neill has been playing with the art of documentary television for more than 15 years. As co-founder of The Working Group, O’Neill has overseen the nonprofit media company’s growth from a shoestring operation to a nationally-recognized, award-winning production company that is today the largest… distributor of documentaries on workplace issues in the country. Her interest in the stories of “extraordinary, ordinary” people informed her work as executive producer of The Working Group’s long-running series, We Do the Work. O’Neill and Rhian Miller produced Not In Our Town (Parts I & II), the PBS specials that helped mobilize national awareness and community action against hate crimes. She was co-creator with Will Durst of The Durst Amendment, a topical comedy show for KQED.
Test of Courage: The Making of a Firefighter is an intimate portrait of young men and women from ethnically and economically diverse backgrounds who must compete to become firefighters in Oakland, California. As they meet the intense daily pressures of saving lives, these young heroes not only test their courage, they are challenged to navigate cultural divides and to trust one another.