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Beans film image


Ignite High School Screening


It is 30 years since the Oka Crisis magnified tensions between French Canadian settlers and the Mohawk community in neighboring Kanesatake as a sometimes violent standoff boiled on through the long, hot summer of 1990. Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer was 12 at the time, and the writer-director has transformed her memories of that period into a singularly compelling and political coming-of-age movie.
“Beans” (the exuberant Kiawentiio) is a model daughter; studious, polite and attentive. But her innocence makes her soft – too soft for the real world. Protesting a planned expansion to the Oka golf course across an ancestral cemetery, the Mohawk blockade roads and are in turn blockaded by locals and police. For Beans and her kid sister the protests seem fun, at first, but they are unprepared for the ugly racism and violence that follows. At the same time, Beans falls under the spell of an older girl: April (Paulina Alexis) is angry, neglected, and only too ready to show her new friend what’s up. Sensitively drawn, alternately delicate and raw, Deer’s movie is moving and important testimony.


Funded by

Director Tracey Deer
Credits See Full Credits
Country of Origin Canada
Year 2020
Language English and French
Content Warning Coarse language, violence, sexual content and alcohol use
Rating 14A
92 min

Education Resources

Education Guide Coming Soon

Primary Curriculum Interests:

  • Media 10
  • Film and Television 11
  • BC First Peoples 12
  • Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12
  • English First Peoples: New Media 11 + 12
  • English 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Social Studies 9, 10
  • Social Justice 12
  • Political Studies 12

Other Curriculum Interests:

  • Directing and Script Development 12
  • Drama 9 + 10

In-Cinema: June 2, 9:30 am, Vancity Theatre

Available on VIFF Connect

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Questions? Contact our Ignite team at [email protected]

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Executive Producer

Meredith Vuchnich, Justine Whyte


Anne-Marie Gélinas


Tracey Deer, Meredith Vuchnich


Marie Davignon


Sophie Farkas Bolla

Original Music

Mario Sévigny