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TIFF 2020: “Beans”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Every time I watch a historical film about hatred, racism, and selfishness spread by fellow citizens, I wonder if they, years later under the constraint of new rules, feel sad about what they have done and said? Were they ashamed when they looked back to see their behavior or just pretend like it never happened?

Inspired from director Tracey Deer’s personal account, “Beans” is an exceptionally told coming-of-age story of Beans (Kiawentiio), who, after getting caught in a racial standoff between the whites in 1990, she gives up her ‘a girl with good manners’ attitude in order to finally stand up for herself. A smart girl with a promising future, she must confront the reality when regular services such as buying chocolate is being refused to her race. The story takes place during the “Oka Crisis”, where a three-months standoff began as a protest due to the expansion of a golf course into a forest and burial ground.

KIawentiio delivers an absolutely grown-up and wise performance in capturing what kids or families would go through while people spread their negativity, jealousy and desire of not sharing the planet earth. Already exceptionally engaging, the added archival footages adds to an already emotionally charged film that certainly gets under your nerve. To say “Beans” is worthwhile seeing will be an understatement as it is an important piece that, at this point of our time, cannot be missed.

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