SIFF 2016: Mekko ***1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 21, 2016)

https://i2.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/policymic-images/r9ejjtkqfjk7msdtvezvu7zvgfvhpy0agwcfdmj4tmcir6rc4vbligrvswfjollx.jpg?resize=474%2C250&ssl=1

Director Sterlin Harjo’s tough, lean, neorealist character study takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rod Rondeaux (Meek’s Cutoff) is outstanding as the eponymous character, a Muscogee Indian who gets out of jail after 19 years of hard time. Bereft of funds and family support, he finds tenuous shelter among the rough-and-tumble “street chief” community of homeless Native Americans as he sorts out how he’s going to get back on his feet. Harjo coaxes naturalistic performances from his entire cast. There’s a lot more going on here than initially meets the eye; namely, a deeper examination of Native American identity, assimilation and spirituality in the modern world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *