Canada, USA, 2020
92 minutes, Color
Tekahentahkhwa is known as Beans within the Mohawk reserve in Oka, Quebec, where she is a tween in the summer of 1990. For Beans, coming of age means encountering indignities her family has so far protected her from. To harden her heart, she falls in with a rough crowd in a very rough season for her people. In the film, Beans is played winningly by Kiawentiio Tarbell, but Mohawk director Tracey Deer was that little girl, having lived through the Oka Crisis of that year. A proposed golf course that would level a Mohawk burial ground drew protesters who barricaded a bridge and brought commerce in the area to a halt, leading to violent encounters with their white neighbors and, eventually, the Canadian army. Deer employs local Mohawk actors movingly, but the saddest aspect of Beans is that the racist taunting by white counter-protesters is actual newsreel footage.—Judy Bloch
The film won Best Canadian Feature Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival and Best Supporting Actress at the Vancouver Film Critics Circle.
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