SIFF Face the Music 2017 Preview: Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

Janice Headley

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World(Canada | 2017 | 103 minutes | directed by Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana)

Festival Screenings:Friday, May 26 at 7:00 PM - Paramount TheatreSaturday, May 27 at 11:30 AM - SIFF Cinema Uptown(Executive Producer Ernest Webb and Producers Lisa Roth & Tracy Rector scheduled to attend both screenings)

"There was this key expression: be proud you're an Indian, but be careful who you tell." -- Robbie Robertson, who comes from Mohawk and Cayuga descent and was raised on the Six Nations Reserve southwest of Toronto, Ontario.

It's heartbreaking to think there was a time when Native American musicians had to be discreet about their heritage. Thankfully, the documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World sets out to tell the world. Executive producer (and Native American guitarist) Stevie Salas explains the genesis of the film: "This whole film happened because I was playing sold-out arenas and stadiums with Rod Stewart, and while on the road across America I started to wonder why there were no other Native Americans in the biz. Then I discovered there were indeed others who, for reasons unknown to me, people didn't know about."

The documentary spotlights just a few of these talented Native musicians, including Seattle's own Jimi Hendrix (who was part Cherokee), Delta country blues artist Charley Patton, jazz vocalist Mildred Bailey, Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, and many others. The film even takes its name from the 1958 instrumental single by Link Wray, whose parents were Shawnee Native Americans. As blues musician Taj Mahal says in the film, "This has gone too long under the radar." Thanks to films like Rumble, it won't be there for long.

And this Friday, May 26th, there will be a special FREE screening at the Paramount Theatre, as well as the debut of the latest Re:definition art exhibit as part of the Indigenous Centered Perspectives series. Curator Tracy Rector has collected the work of Indigenous artists, with pieces by artists Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Margie Morris, and Amanda Spotted Fawn Strong. Doors open at 6 PM to give you time to explore the exhibit, with the screening starting at 7 PM. There will be a talkback with artists and filmmakers at the film's conclusion, followed by a reception at 9:30 PM with drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and a live DJ. (If you miss the exhibit, it will stay up through September.)

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