Steven Lewis Simpson


It is interesting as I’ve been putting Rez Bomb out into the world that some of the gatekeepers have actually been having issue with the fact that the film is potentially the first universal story ever set on an Indian reservation as they often express that the film is not “culturally sensitive enough”.  Bullshit to that I say.  The moment you want all the films and stories from a particular community to fit into a certain box even if its a well meaning cultural one then you are creating an Apartheid situation. We are failing progressing into a world of equality until all stories are being set anywhere a storyteller chooses for them regardless of context.

Besides the truth is and the cultural gatekeepers always fail to note this, is that if you live in a shitty environment whether in the projects of Chicago, the Favela’s of Rio, a housing estate in Glasgow or a reservation in the USA you don’t want to watch films about your own life and how shitty it is, you want to be entertained and taken out of that world while being able to relate to characters that reflect you and those you relate to.  Poor people don’t want to watch Ken Loach movies as they are for middle-class intellectuals. Those communities want comedies and dramas and action and adventure.

The gatekeepers who have been the biggest stumbling block for us so far have been ones in the American Indian film festival circuit even though Rez Bomb has played in far more major festivals than the majority of films they show. The irony is that the American Indian/First Nations audiences that have seen it have had the greatest response to the film and it has been very moving to hear their words of support and thanks for the film.

Those gatekeepers need to watch Sullivan’s Travels to set them straight on this.

Got that off my chest. 





  1. james starkey

    what we need are more cameras in the hands of Indigenous People, telling their own stories, their own way. the neo-gatekeepers are often the non-indigenous who control the stories and cameras, a sort of usurper and interloper.

  2. steve Post author

    But also I feel there are native gatekeepers that see the PC white crowd as there main source of funds and support and end up becoming caught up in this strange very specific view of Indian country and culture. I mean look at the music today on the reservations… the traditional music is worth celebrating but much of the great new art and music is more contemporary and urban. The hip hop and rap may be influenced by other cultures but the words and emotions so often are powerfully of the reservation life and more potent than most contemporary rap from other communities.

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