Sterlin Harjo, Seminole and Muscogee, is one of the most successful Native filmmakers working today, having directed the award-winning movies Four Sheets to the Wind (2007), Barking Water (2009), and This May Be the Last Time (2014). His latest work is Mekko, a film that pushes boundaries. "It’s a thriller that takes place in Tulsa," he told ICTMN earlier this year. "I wanted to make a movie that took place within the homeless community, like within an Indian homeless community—I just haven’t seen anything like that. It’s a very specific world and I think it’s beautiful and it’s also sad, and there’s also problems, and I just wanted to tell a whole story that took place within that world."
Mekko is now finished, and had its world premiere June 12 at the L.A. Film Festival. It stars Rod Rondeaux and Zahn McClarnon. "What's great about Mekko is its realistic revelations, presenting a rarely seen slice of life about marginalized people," writes reviewer Ed Rampell. "Not too dissimilar, in a sense, from those other 'Okies' displaced during the Depression and the dustbowl, as immortalized in John Steinbeck's 1939 classic The Grapes of Wrath, which ... John Ford turned into an unforgettable film." Rampell's review ends with an unqualified endorsement: "while Mekko does not currently have distribution, it richly deserves theatrical and other forms of release and there is an audience for this fine film off the beaten path that moves to the beat of a different, indigenous drummer."
Here's the trailer: