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RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Canada 2017. Dir: Catherine Bainbridge; Co-Dir: Alfonso Maiorana. 102 min. DCP

Rapturously received at Hot Docs, DOXA, and everywhere else it has played, RUMBLE, named for a Link Wray hit, explores an oft-neglected chapter of North American music history: the important influence of musicians of First Nations descent. Stretching back a century to groundbreaking blues musician Charlie Patton, whose Indigenous ancestry was often glossed over, the documentary covers an extraordinary amount of ground. It reminds us of the contributions made by guitar greats Wray and Jesse Ed Davis, folk singer Peter La Farge (who wrote “The Ballad of Ira Hayes"), drummer Randy Castillo, U.S. artist Rhiannon Giddens, and, of course, legendary figures like Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and John Trudell. Along the way are some startling revelations (the FBI trying to derail Sainte-Marie’s career!) and some seriously kick-ass tunes. — Steve Gravestock, TIFF


COARSE LANGUAGE; VIOLENCE; NUDITY
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REVIEWS

"Asks us to be still for a moment and to listen to the heartbeat — at once familiar and newly strange — that pumps the lifeblood that flows through the songs this country is known for."

Washington Post | full review

"A vibrant survey of a criminally overlooked aspect of American popular music."

LA Times | full review