A new feature film set during the Oka Crisis offers a view from behind the barricades through the eyes of a young girl.
Called ‘Beans,’ the film is the coming-of-age story of a 12-year-old Mohawk girl during the 1990 crisis.
It’s the latest project from director Tracey Deer, best known for her TV show ‘Mohawk Girls.’ Deer witnessed the tensions firsthand and decided years ago she wanted to tell that story.
“For me, this is 28 years in the making. I was 12 years old when I lived it. I was 12 years old when I decided I wanted to make it. It’s really a dream come true for me to be here,” she said.
The film is being shot in Kahnawake, where the filmmakers have recreated the roadblocks that were erected during those difficult days. The drama unfolds from the perspective of a child inside the barricade.
“It’s been a very emotional and moving experience for me. There’ve a lot of scenes in the film that are ripped right from my own memory, so it’s been hard to revisit those times but also very empowering at the same time,” she said.
The filmmakers went on a Canada-wide search for indigenous talent to star in the film and are halfway through shooting on location.
With this feature film, Deer hopes to breed compassion in viewers.
“I really want Canadians to understand what it means to be an indigenous person in this country. I think that level of understanding, there’s still a long way to go. Indigenous people live with this type of conflict and politics every single day. The Oka Crisis gives me escalated drama, so it’s a wonderful setting for the film, but I’m really looking at bringing people into our reality to create better understanding and hopefully build allies,” she said.
Named after the main characters, ‘Beans’ is expected to be released in the fall of 2020.
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