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Native American Film Series: “Rez Bomb”

Outside the sky flashes with lightning, thunder rumbles, and I’m inside sitting on my couch hoping the power doesn’t go out before I finish writing this blog. What’s more, I’m thinking about how to introduce this next film in our Native American Film Series and suddenly realize the irony of my situation. There is a connection between what is going on around me and the volatile love story in Rez Bomb (2009).

Relationships, like thunderstorms, are something powerful, sacred, mysterious, that come and go with the winds they are blown in on.

Filmed primarily on and around the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Rez Bomb is the story of a love challenged by the world around it and the situations in which Scott (Trent Ford) and Harmony (Tamara Feldman) find themselves.

An unlikely couple, a young Lakota woman from Pine Ridge and a young man from an affluent white family, Scott and Harmony have no one but themselves. Isolated by their families and living in one of the poorest places in the United States, their love is pushed to the breaking point when they fail to scam a local gambler (Russell Means) using money they borrowed from the only loan shark (Chris Robinson) on the reservation.

With less then 24 hours to pay back the loan shark, each passing second chips away at Scott and Harmony. While they do their best to make things right between them, their families, and those they owe, every step forward puts them two steps back.

As love and trouble unfold for Scott and Harmony, Rez Bomb explores the crises at the heart of a story on Pine Ridge. Both Scott and Harmony are shaped by the poverty, alcoholism, violence, racism, sadness and anger present there. While the film addresses these issues in sometimes powerful ways, often the point intended misses its mark. Perhaps this is partly the result of the Scottish-born Steven Lewis Simpson serving as the writer, director, producer, and editor of Rez Bomb. So, if you watch the film, understand that the issues in the film are real and serious, despite how the film may present them.

 

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