BEANS movie screening

When

Sat, Jan 20, 2024    
7:00 pm-10:00 pm

Where

Old Dutch Church
272 Wall St, Kingston, NY, 12401

Event Type

This true-events coming-of-age story, about a middle schooler still learning about the world when her hometown suddenly becomes the site of a violent conflict, is “an unmitigated triumph,” critic Jude Dry writes in IndieWire.

“A stirring and eye-opening masterpiece,” critic Britany Murphy writes in Geeks of Color.

“One cannot help but be moved by this powerful story,” Wendy Shreve writes in Featuring Film.

The film’s heroine, Tekehentahkhwa (Kiawentiio), who goes by “Beans” because it’s easier for most people to say, is a 12-year-old Mohawk girl with a bright smile and braids.

While a fictional character, she is about to live through a true story — a fierce, 78-day land dispute in 1990 between a group of Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec, near Montreal. Oka’s predominantly white government wanted to destroy a Mohawk cemetery to expand a golf course and build condominiums.

(More than 300 years earlier, members of the Mohawk nation moved their homeland to the Montreal area from Wiltwyck/Kingston, Esopus and other parts of the Hudson Valley. This 1660s migration took place around the time the Dutch settler colonial province of New Netherland fell to the British.)

In the film, which includes documentary footage from the real Oka event, Beans starts out naive but grows up fast when she witnesses firsthand the cruelty of non-Indigenous people toward her people — malice that even rattles her dauntless mother, Lily (Rainbow Dickerson).

The injustices fill Beans with a newfound anger. That anger incites her to confront a white girl for staring at her for far too long and later to rage at white policemen for laughing and doing nothing while her people were attacked by white locals.

At the same time, Beans enters adolescence and befriends April (Paulina Alexis), an older girl who is tough and contrary. Beans wants to emulate her, so she changes her appearance, practices swearing, dabbles with drink and flirts with boys.

But it’s Beans’s realization of how her people are treated that makes the biggest impact on her character.

The 2020 independent film earned 15 critic and festival awards, including the Berlin International Film Festival’s Best Film honor in a category for films that explore the worlds of children, and the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award.

The movie runs 92 minutes and is not rated by the Motion Picture Association. Its trailer can be found on YouTube at tinyurl.com/Beans-MoviesWSpirit.

The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $10 a person.

Movies With Spirit screenings comply with all federal, state and local health and safety protocols, including those of the screening venues.

The monthly Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.

The films are screened in diverse places of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m., generally on the third Saturday of every month. Movies With Spirit has no religious affiliation.

For more information about the “Beans” screening and the rest of the series, call Harrington at 845-389-9201 or write to him at gerryharrington@mindspring.com. Details are also available at facebook.com/MoviesWithSpirit.