Canadian filmmaker Tracey Deer, a woman who also belongs to the Mohawk Indian tribe, shot a semi-autobiographical coming of age drama set in the part of Quebec where she grew up. And that was in 1990 (when Deer was actually 12 and the protagonist of the complicated name Tekehentahkwa so everyone calls her Beans is maybe a year older) when there was a clash between Mohawk and whites from surrounding settlements. The incident occurred when the Indians rebelled because the city authorities planned to build golf courses on land that is sacred to them. It started with peaceful protests, then the Mohawks built barricades at the entrance to the land they considered their own, and the Canadians (the Francophones and Anglophone residents unite in something) then built barricades at the entrance to the city.
The army soon had to intervene, a real armed conflict was about to take place, and this situation lasted for a full 78 days. It was during this period that the horrific racism of whites towards the indigenous, indigenous population came to the fore, and Deer finely combined the feature material in “Beans” with some real, archival television footage showing us what it really looked like. And this whole not-at-all-pleasant story is told from the perspective of Beans, an apparently bright kid who is led in the introduction by a pregnant mother for an interview to enroll in a reputable white high school. But, as is often the case with similar films when the authors make something that is obviously extremely important to them, and perhaps not so well known to the general audience, “Beans” is occasionally overly didactic.
He tries too hard to explain the background of everything, to contextualize the situation, so I occasionally had the impression that two films were inserted into one. The first is about standoff and the tense situation between Indians and local whites, and the second is about a girl who will start discovering a new world when she meets the rebellious and disobedient girl April who is a few years older. And while Beans has been protected so far and almost doesn’t realize that in most cases the world is no comfortable place for Indians, April seems to be starting to teach her how to gain the urge to survive and how to get used to the pain that awaits her later in life. . Very soon Beans will really realize that life is not a joke, and the lesson she will get from a colleague will be very important to her.