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Tracey Deer · Canada · 2021 · 92 mins · 14A
Awards IMDb94%

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 - 2 Canadian Screen Awards

-The Crystal Bear: Berlin International Film Festival

-Best Canadian Feature: Toronto Film Festival & Vancouver Film Festival

 It’s no surprise that a filmmaker’s best work is often their most personal. That’s abundantly clear in Beans, Tracey Deer’s raw and affecting drama based on her experience surviving the horrific 1990 Oka Crisis. In Beans, Deer has transformed the most painful experience of her life into a vital human story, while holding an unflinching mirror up to the racism and discrimination indigenous communities still face to this day.

Named for its plucky protagonist, Beans lays bare the pain and trauma of that reality through the eyes of a 12-year-old Mohawk girl. Cheerful and ambitious, the film follows Beans as she struggles to find herself while navigating community, discrimination, and a revolution. Though the beats of her self-reckoning are understandably familiar, the setting and point of view is wholly original. It’s safe to say there’s never been a film quite like Beans.

When a local golf course threatens to build on sacred Mohawk burial grounds, a peaceful protest escalates as the community mobilizes to protect its land. As Beans and her adorable kid sister Ruby (Violah Beauvais) excitedly ferry discarded furniture to makeshift barricades, Beans surveys the reality of what they’re up against as she looks across at armed policemen with sandbags and barbed-wire fencing. Deer keeps the precise details of the stand-off a bit murky, instead focusing on the characters’ experience of the events.

The young actor Kiawentiio is an exciting discovery. She’s a formidable force, embodying Beans with a blend of youthful innocence, beyond-her-years wisdom, and forceful determination. She’s natural and charismatic onscreen.

Behind every angry mob we see on the news today sits a child of color, full of their own hopes and dreams and joys, confronted daily with a sea of inexplicable rage and hate. If rendering their stories artfully through a camera lens opens just one mind, then “Beans” is already an unmitigated triumph.—IndieWire

“Mohawk director Tracey Deer has made a film that's eye-opening. Beyond her firsthand understanding of indigenous people's struggles, she's keenly attuned to girlhood growing pains — well captured in the expressive and engaging performance by Kiawentiio, leading a strong cast.”—The Hollywood Reporter

“An accessible, unsanitized drama foregrounding Indigenous experience - one that doesn't hedge on depicting embedded Québécois racism and discrimination - [director Tracey Deer] is staking out a fertile patch of filmmaking terrain
.”—Cinema Scope


Cast Kiawentiio, Violah Beauvais
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