We know how African Americans changed the face of modern music. Whether it’s Jazz, Rock N’ Roll or Hip Hop, their roots run through almost everything on iTunes or Spotify. But what doesn’t get acknowledged is the impact of Indigenous people. Director Catherine Bainbridge seeks to change all that with her documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World. Judging by all the film festivals showcasing this film, it looks like she’s succeeding.
Well, it’s not so much a documentary as it is a 103-minute video essay. Instead of trying to portray the history in a conventional manner, Rumble showcases how indigenous people changed modern music through a series of segment linked through ideas. In a way, it makes sense to use this structure to tell over 100 years of music history. After all, it’s not one story but several stories connected by a common passion. Not only did several people change modern music but several cultures.
Rumble is not just about music. It’s also about people, specifically indigenous musicians who played major roles in music history. The film does showcase some famous rock n’ roll stars, including Canadians Robbie Robertson (Mohawk) and Buffy Saint-Marie (Cree) and legends like Jimi Hendrix (part Cherokee). With each person you get a memorable moment, from a heartfelt interview with Hendrix’s sister to Redbone having a live powwow before they perform their hit song Come and Get Your Love. 
Of all of them, the most fascinating are Two are Charley Patton and Link Ray, two underappreciated artists who changed their respective music genres. Ray himself invented the hard rock sound with his song Rumble. Bainbridge certainly makes a compelling case of how Patton invented Jazz music using the drum beats of Indigenous people.
But when you discuss Indigenous history, it’s inevitable to discuss the atrocities inflicted on them. The atrocities come in many forms in film, from depriving them of land ownership rights to the genocide. In some cases, it was so horrific that some would pass themselves off as black. The atrocity at the centre of the film is the government’s attempts to deprive Indigenous people of their culture by banning their music. Even in the 20th century, there were attempts to silence indigenous voices, from the FBI keeping a file of Saint-Marie to attempted bans on Johnny Cash’s album Indian Burn. Rumble kind of argues that Indigenous music survived by blending into modern music, especially with Charley Patton.
In 1907, US weekly predicted native American music and culture wouldn’t last. And yet their music only got louder and stronger. When you see Choctaw natives stomp dance through the streets of New Orleans, you see their endurance. Even today, indigenous people still rock the charts in guitarist Stevie Salas or Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas. They’re silent no more.
 That’s not even including the pleasure that band gets hearing that song played on Guardians of the Galaxy.
 Not to mention inspiring the title.