Leonardo DiCaprio and Grace Dove in “The Revenant”
Published February 20, 2016
LOS ANGELES – “With films like ‘The Revenant,’ and its 12 Oscar nominations, tells me this is not the time for a boycott,” stated Joanelle Romero, actor, director and founder of Red Nation Film Festival – The Authentic Voice of American Indian & Indigenous Cinema.
“The conversation has always been black and white, however we should not over look one of the most brilliant native films made this year. How does this film get it right in terms of Diversity and Inclusion? From the director himself being Indigenous, to the casting of native actors in the roles of native peoples, as well as the narrative of contact, the film lends itself to addressing the timely issues of the environment,” Romero said.
Joanelle Romero and Arthur Red Cloud
In the 26 years since “Dances With Wolves” won an Oscar for Best Film, no other film comes as close to “getting it right”. “Every actor, director, producer, writer of color should be standing in support of “The Revenant,” in not suggesting a boycott” Romero added. “Instead, we should unify and celebrate the inclusivity of this film.”
The Native performances were stellar and should have been nominated. Native nominations for an Oscar in the past have been few and far between: Chief Dan George for best supporting actor in 1970, Buffy Sainte-Marie for best song in 1982 (WON), and Graham Greene for best supporting actor in 1990; Joanelle Romero to date is the only native filmmaker to make the Academy’s Documentary shortlist in a preliminary round of voting for her film :American Holocaust: When Its All Over I’ll Still Be Indian” (1999) – This is the first and only film that addresses the links between the American Indian and Jewish holocausts.
Romero added, “Let’s put in good energy and support that we do not have to wait another 26 years for Hollywood to made a Native movie.”