“For filmmaker Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek), making his stories feel real is crucial. The connections he made in the homeless community of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Harjo is from, were real. So were the images, places and stories that all came to inspire his latest film, ‘Mekko’. Harjo describes the film as a thriller. T. Coleman, Native People Magazine
Excerpt: Sterlin Harjo’s “Mekko” By Travis Coleman, Native Peoples
“Shot in Tulsa, Harjo’s third feature film reflects the city sights and sounds—alongside other varied influences. It’s a story about Mekko, a parolee trying to rebuild his life after 19 years in prison for murder. He seeks redemption in confronting Bill, a cruel and possibly supernatural influence on the homeless community…The Muscogee story of the estekini (pronounced sta-genn-ee), an evil witch or shape-shifter, influenced the film. It’s kind of like our tribe’s boogeyman, Harjo says…While in Tulsa, Harjo began hanging with homeless people from his neighborhood and found many of them were Native Americans who had formed a community for themselves on the outskirts of society.
View Mekko Trailer HD:
To play the title character, Harjo cast stuntman Rod Rondeaux (Crow)…Bill was played by Zahn McClarnon (Hunkpapa Lakota)… For the film, the actors worked alongside homeless people of downtown Tulsa, whom Harjo had met in a soup kitchen. Despite almost no major film-studio backing, Harjo has found success on the festival circuit and isn’t seeking to create films that could be considered commercially viable. That, he says, would feel gross.”
“If you spend your time talking about yourself, you lose sight about what your art is…I just constantly work … and try to tell stories.”~ Sterlin Harjo~