Peshawn Bread is breaking Indigenous female stereotypes on the big and small screens
Check out their debut film, "The Daily Life of Mistress Red"
PESHAWN BREAD: My advice to Native women and to young Native girls wanting to get into filmmaking, I would just say, be honest and tell stories that are true to your heart and stand by those. And for one second don't ever doubt yourself.
"The Daily Life of Mistress Red" is a film that's very close to my heart for many reasons. One of the main reasons being that there were so many Native women who worked on set and who were a part of the creative team. We had a Native female producer. We had two lead-- like three actresses that were Native in the film.
Behind the scenes there were a lot of Native women, too. And I feel like, especially when you're talking about Native women, if there's ever a film or topic about Native women, there should be Native women in that room no matter what it is.
I think the portrayals in my film and challenging it within cinema is important. But I think the way that I'm challenging it is kind of letting Native women have a narrative of their own when it comes to sexuality, also having it through humor. I feel like a lot of the times that we see Native women on screen, there's usually violence. And it's usually in a drama setting and never in a comedic setting.
I mean, for me, Native women are the funniest people I have ever met. Like the way that they joke and the way that they tease each other and the way that we just laugh, it's such a beautiful medicine. So I decided to do a mockumentary about a Native dominatrix for hire who whips white supremacists. And I thought it was really funny and campy. And I just love the idea of bringing camp to Indigenous lifestyle and to also show that we are campy people and that we can have fun.
Native queer representation in Hollywood is little to none, which is on screen. But what's funny is that there are so many Native queers in writers' rooms. And there's so many of us, like, out there. There's so many Native indigiqueers. Like, it's a thing. And for me, as an Indigenous queer person, and someone who's female presenting, like I try my best to showcase stories that are loving and stories that don't contain violence to them.
And I remember promising to myself, OK, if I make something that's queer and Native, I'm going to make it beautiful because our people deserve to have a beautiful love and deserve to see that our love can exist on screen. And it can be beautiful. And it can be Indigenous. And it can have everything that we dream of for ourselves.
It was a blessing to have a lot of people come together and to enjoy this mockumentary and laugh and people trying to not laugh while a man is being flagellated in the background. [CHUCKLING]
When I was casting "Mistress Red," I got death threats via Instagram. Every once in a while I get messages on the Instagram account, um, you know, saying like, I'm a slut. And I'm like, yes, I am, but that's beyond the point. I'm just like, wow, that didn't hurt at all.
Being an Indigenous female-presenting person is a political act of defiance. And I hate it because it's like-- it's like-- I'm just trying to be-- I'm just trying to be out here and make films. And suddenly, people are like, uh-uh-uh. Like, no, please let me-- let me make movies.