Synopsis: A feature comedy about Butch and Harjo, two Native Americans who struggle to make the transition from their reservation home to the city of Los Angeles. But after discovering a solution in an advertised remedy, they are immediately catapulted to the ranks of the refined and successful.
TM: By relaying much of his own life transitioning from the reservation to ‘the outside world”, Montana Cypress also tells a similar story of many young people during a huge change in their lives, bridging a gap between cultures. There’s struggle, doubt, finding yourself, and horrible landlords.
The film is quirky to say the least. The characters are funny, sometimes poking fun of Native American stereotypes, dating, and the Broadway sensation Hamilton. Although Cypress has six films under his belt, I would still keep him in the amatuer category.
Tuesday’s Rating: 2.5 shots
KM: The fun part of film festivals is getting to see small independent films made with huge heart. The Transcenders is one such film. What I loved the most were all the jabs at stereotypes. For example, the Native detective TV show was supposed to be “modern” – with the Native American taken off the Rez and put into an action hero role. But everything about the character was a caricature of American Indians.
While such blatant stereotyping could feel uncomfortable, director Montana Cypress told us before the movie started that if we felt compelled to laugh, then we should. This is a comedy after all. And in the end, the heroes actually show that people from the Rez are just people and can go into any role they wish.
Kaely’s Rating: 3 shots