Beans (PG) ****

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  • A Bridge Too Far!

    No, I am not reviewing the famed British war epic from the 1970s. Mind you there is a distinct militaristic theme to Beans. Fresh food for fodder sees us delve deep into a very tense time in Canadian history. Well worth seeing this stirring drama from Mongrel Media will have you on the edge of your seats. For a change here’s a Canadian film actually worth seeing and definitely worth viewing at the recently reopened International Village cinemas in downtown Vancouver, Langley and other theatres around British Columbia. Or if you can’t find a local theatre keep this title in mind when it appears on video on demand or your dvd selection.

    Timing is everything in life. You couldn’t pick a better time to release this movie than now. Unless you’ve been living under a rock by now all Canadians (and dare I say the rest of the world) are aware of the horrific treatment levied against Aboriginal children in residential schools administered by the Catholic Church and legitimized by the then Liberal governments in Ottawa of the day. A more recent flashpoint that tore Canada apart was the crisis at Oka in 1990 Quebec. This is that story.

    Conflict between Mohawk citizens and their white neighbours just outside of Montréal is at the heart of this movie. Told through the eyes of a young girl called Tekehentahkhwa thankfully nicknamed Beans we see just how violent this 1990 confrontation became. Lost innocence In this young girls soul is expertly revealed by actress Kiawentiio
    Wise beyond her years we see how the strife and raw emotion engulf this young girl as she is thrust into this wildly unruly conflict where a spark here, a spark there could have led to untold bloodshed. Thankfully Eventually things calmed down but this tale of competing interests over of all things a golf course speaks volumes about the age-old animosity and distrust of people from different cultures and backgrounds have.. Things should have never gone so far off the rails.

    Complete with actual footage from the real conflict Beans is a devastatingly chilling revisiting (not revisioning) of an extremely volatile time In Metro Montréal. Nothing is sugar coated here as you can see the fear a mother and her two daughters must endure running a gauntlet of angry protestors protesting a protest. It’s not a pretty sight and will make you cringe with disgust.
    Whether we’ve learned anything from this powder keg conflict is open to debate. To coin John Lennon’s most famous call to battle Give Peace A Chance never sounded so good. Excellent performances and an ultra tense atmosphere makes Beans a must see movie guaranteed to make you think. And squirm. And maybe even cry(Robert Waldman).

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