Montreal had a very special screening of Rumble : The Indians Who Rocked the World at Cinema Du Parc on Friday night. Several of the producers and director, Catherine Bainbridge were in attendance to introduce the film followed by a Q & A afterwards. A special announcement was made by producer, Christina Fon that this film is now in consideration for an Oscar nomination as best documentary. I have to say after seeing it, I truly hope this film is not only nominated but wins the Academy award. Rezolution Pictures is a Montreal based film company that have done a great job. Another special thing that happened was at the end of the film the crowd was on its feet cheering. Catherine Bainbridge excitedly shouted out that of all the screenings they’ve had this was its first standing ovation. Can anything more special happen? Yes.
An extra specialness to the evening was that several X-Men Dark Phoenix cast and crew were in attendance. In particular Tye Sheridan who plays, X-men leader, Cyclops and Kota Eberhardt who will play Luna. Kota and Tye were nice enough to take photos with the filmmakers of Rumble and some eager X-Men fans. Kota was so emotionally moved by the film she spoke at the Q & A. Here’s a direct quote from Kota herself : I am so honoured to be here. What a project. Impeccable work. It resonated deeply and will continue to resonate off the walls of my very existence. I now plan on using my art for that. Wow! Wow! I’m blown away! I’m half Sioux. My mom is full Sioux. My dad is African American German. This footage from Standing Rock was amazing. I saw friends who were there. I wanted to represent. It touched me. Thank you.
I was fortunate enough to get a question in with Rumble director Catherine Bainbridge. Ron : Catherine I’d like to say I loved the film and thought it was the best documentary I’ve seen since Sound City. We saw so many celebrities in this film, everyone from Slash to Martin Scorsese and more. How were you able to get all of these people in the film?
Catherine : Oh, thank you for such a great first question. The answer is one name, Stevie Salas. He’s the rock star guy. After his first high school band he went on tour with Rod Stewart. Stevie basically knows everyone in the music biz. They are all his friends. He would call them up and they would instantly agree to be in the film. He got us in.
There were a few we got ourselves such as Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. We asked him and he was like “Yeah I’m in.” We got Marky Ramone. Martin Scorsese said “Yes.” right way.
Rumble : the Indians Who Rocked the World is such a befitting title for this music documentary from Catherine Bainbridge and the rest of the creative team at Rezolution pictures. It’s not just a documentary about Link Wrey or Native American music. It’s about a whole lot more.
We get a very clear message of Link Wrey’s influence on rock n roll from his hit song, Rumble. Interestingly Rumble was the only instrumental song banned on US radio because they thought it would cause teenage gang violence. Or it could just be a prejudice towards having a Native American with a hit song.
There is so much insight in this film about the Native American influence it left me in awe at times. In particular the comparisons of Native vocal singing to that of the blues and how much that sound was really the originator of traditional blues. From there the film explores a pioneer of blues music, Charley Patton. Since there is no video footage of Charley Rezolution Pictures have created an interesting blend of music, narration and animation to bring his story to life.
There is high praise from both Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra on how Mildred Bailey was their main inspiration. Who knew?
While the music is a prominent factor the information about the tragedy and genocide of Native American culture and people through the last century is mind boggling and upsetting all at once. This is something that so many people do not talk about enough and it needs to be. I was also blown away by the struggle of Native American people in the racially charged era of the southern US of the 60’s.
The Jimi Hendrix section was …eye opening. Jimi was majorly influenced by his grandmother who held onto her Native American roots strongly. Jimi used to go through her trunk and wear her former dancing costumes. Again the animation that Rezolution pictures uses to integrate how that would influence Hendrix’s own look years later was staggering.
Of course there is no way this film could be complete without a mention of 70’s musical icon, Buffy Sainte Marie. Hearing her story in her own words is a real treat. The 70’s era also focuses on guitarist Jesse Ed Davis who played with such names as Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne, Eric Clapton and at George Harrison’s concert for Bangladesh. Icon Robbie Robertson’s intense contribution to the film is a constant, thankfully.
The 80’s decade shows how Indian activist, John Trudell did an album that Bob Dylan claimed was the best album of 1985. From there on we see plenty of commentary from Trudell. Heavy metal had it’s Native influences from Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo. A huge contributor to the film was guitarist Stevie Salas through music, interviews and by talking about going out in the desert to experience Indian land.
For a more modern take there’s great interview footage from Black Eyed Peas member, Taboo, who is also part Native American. He created a song and video, Stand N Rock for the protest against the Dakota Access Oil Pipe Line, #NoDAPL. The video was nominated for an Award at the VMA’s. This film was also a winner at Sundance. What more do you need to know? Plenty.
Make sure to watch this entertaining, fun, informative and important film, Rumble The Indians Who Rocked the World and stand up!