Based on a true story, “Mutt” examines the life of Meda Paavola, a young woman who is half Finnish and half Ojibwa, but has had little exposure to her Native American roots. That is, until she begins a romantic relationship with a young man from the Ojibwa tribe and Meda finds it difficult to identify with either side of her bloodline.
“This then brings into question on whether or not she is Finnish or Native American and the families try to force her to choose sides and she gets kind of caught up in the middle,” director Rick Allen said.
He says that during pre–production for the film, he initially thought he had a very unique story about one person.
“Well, what happened is so many people came to us and said, ‘you’re telling my story; I went through this. This is what happened to me’, and found out that there is a fairly large subculture in the area who have experienced these same things as this mixed–race identity,” said Allen.
He adds that there have been many films made about the Copper Country but that they only scratch the surface and do not showcase the area as uniquely as this film does.
“This film is really an accomplishment of the community, the people that came together,” Allen said. “All local actors, all the scenes were done here, every dollar of the movie was spent here, so this is really a triumph of the Keweenaw people.”
Allen does acknowledge that the film’s title is somewhat of a derogatory term, but he says it’s a discussion with the community that needs to be had.
“I hope that people, when they come out from this film, will talk about how do you they make people feel by their attitudes towards each other and how would they feel if they were the person that was the target,” Allen said.
The movie is set to premiere tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Calumet Theater. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. The movie will be followed by a Q&A session with members of the cast as well as an opportunity for pictures.
A second showing at the theater will also take place Saturday at the same time.