Jason Momoa Sheds Light on Unprotected Native Women in ‘Road to Paloma’
Jason Momoa has done more than show he’s more dynamic than his typical brute roles (e.g. Khal Drogo on HBO’s Game Of Thrones) with his directorial debut Road to Paloma, which hit DVD and VOD this week.
Written (alongside Robert Homer Mollohan), directed, and starring the Native/Hawaiian actor, the film introduces audiences to the little known plight of Native American women, who aren’t protected on their own reservations.
Native women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the U.S. In 86% of reported cases, perpetrators are non-Native men, 60% white, who cannot be prosecuted by tribal councils and receive lenient sentencing from U.S. courts.
And despite efforts to untie tribal courts’ hands, with President Obama signing a reauthorized version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the 566 federally recognized tribes still have a long wait for implementation. What is covered is extremely narrow and women in 200 Alaska Native tribes have been excluded from protection.
In Road to Paloma, Momoa stars as antihero Robert Wolf, a Native American biker on the run from the FBI after avenging his mother’s brutal rape and murder.
“When Wolf (Momoa’s character) is on his journey, he’s kind of doling out his soul,” Momoa told the Des Moines Register. “The best parts of his life are on the road. I wanted to make a really good road movie; it’s a hard genre to tackle. The character wasn’t too much of a stretch, the act of directing was the challenge.”
Produced by Boss Media and Pride of Gypsies, the project is the smallest Momoa has ever participated on, with a budget of just $600,000 that required friends and family (his wife, Lisa Bonet, co-stars) to make it work.
“It’s very cheap for the way it looks” he said. “We lived in the dirt and edited it in my Airstream. My buddies lived on my property to do it and all the music was done through friends. It was a very grassroots effort, very unconventional for Hollywood.”
Distributed by WWE Studios, Road to Paloma is a “man-flick” for some and a tearjerker for others (like me) that explores an untold epidemic of sexual violence with gorgeous cinematography.
Momoa also spoke on his forthcoming projects: directing a commercial for the clothing company Carhartt, beginning production on the second season of Sundance TV‘s The Red Road, and putting together his next feature film.
“My next script is quite big, a late 1800s historical drama. It will be very hard to make, it’s a bit ‘Braveheart’ or ‘Last of the Mohicans’ for Hawaiians,” Momoa said. “It will probably take about five years before I can make it and it will definitely have a lot bigger budget.”
He is also rumored to be playing Aquaman in the upcoming Batman V Superman film.