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Kelly O

IS:
A film director, a film producer, and an activist.

MAKES:
Work about Native Americans, a group that has almost no presence in mainstream or indie cinema.

ALSO:
Makes work about climate change.

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With Tracy Rector, there is no point where her politics end and her art begins. The reason for this is found in the fact that her politics and art predominantly concern Native Americans, a group that, even in our late day and time, still has almost no presence in mainstream and indie American cinema. If one hopes to end this sad state of affairs, they must become political—because the system by which the movie industry excludes or represents Native Americans is almost totally political. Meaning, the history and plight of this group makes no sense unless it is seen as a consequence not of nature or destiny but of decisions made by one group (those in power, those with money, those who want more land) in the interest of that group.

Now think about this: Not one of the nominees at this year's #OscarsSoWhite Oscars was Native American, and the last big Native American role in Hollywood, Tonto in Disney's reboot of Lone Ranger, was played by a white man (Johnny Depp). This is the kind of cultural background one must set the work and activism of Rector in. As the executive director of Longhouse Media, a film production group that focuses on indigenous narratives and images, she has for the past 11 years helped to provide the resources for films about a group of people that, if ignored entirely, is vastly misrepresented.