Transcript: Tracey Deer: Telling Indigenous Narratives Through Film | Jun 21, 2021

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and gray plaid tie.

A caption on screen reads "Telling indigenous narratives through film. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says WE ARE ALL, OF COURSE, WITNESSES TO HISTORY. BUT SOME OF US STAND MUCH CLOSER TO IT THAN OTHERS, AND AS SUCH, IT LEAVES A DEEPER IMPRESSION. TRACEY DEER IS AN ACCOMPLISHED WRITER, PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR WHO HAS WORKED ON TELEVISION SHOWS SUCH AS "ANNE WITH AN "E" AND "MOHAWK GIRLS." AND NOW, SHE HAS HER FIRST FEATURE FILM. IT'S CALLED "BEANS." SET DURING THE OKA CRISIS IN THE SUMMER OF 1990, IT'S BEEN CALLED THE BEST COMING OF AGE FILM OF THE YEAR, AND WON SEVERAL AWARDS... INCLUDING JUST LAST MONTH, CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS FOR BEST FIRST FEATURE FILM AND BEST MOTION PICTURE. AND IT BRINGS TRACEY DEER TO OUR VIRTUAL STUDIO TONIGHT FROM MONTREAL, QUEBEC.

A picture of the poster for "Beans" appears briefly on screen. It features a drawing of a young woman with long wavy black hair wearing a yellow sweater.
Tracey is in her thirties, with long wavy chestnut hair. She's wearing a colourful sleeveless shirt.

Steve continues TRACEY, SO GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE. I GOT TO TELL YOU, I LOVED THIS MOVIE BUT, BOY, YOU DO NOT SPARE A THING. LET'S JUST SHOW A LITTLE CLIP OF THIS AND THEN WE'LL COME BACK AND CHAT, OKAY? SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, LET'S GO.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Beans. 2020."

A black slate reads "Official selection TIFF. Toronto International Film Festival 2020."

A teenage girl's voice says MY NAME IS (INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE) OR YOU CAN CALL ME BEANS. EVERYBODY DOES.

Beans smiles as she travels on a fast-moving boat.

A caption reads "Inspired by true events. Torn between..."

Two girls ride bicycles on an open road and one yells THIS IS OUR ROAD! OUR ROAD!

The caption continues "...childhood and adolescence..."

As another teenage girl hits Beans with a whip, she says IF YOU CAN'T FEEL PAIN, NO ONE CAN HURT YOU.

[SCREAMING]

The caption continues "...protest and chaos."

Fast clips show people running, Beans crying and protests taking place in a forest. Angry men destroy a car as Beans hides.

The clip ends.

Steve says BEANS IS THE NICKNAME OF THE PROTAGONIST OF THE FILM, WE SHOULD JUST SAY OFF THE TOP HERE. TRACEY, THERE ARE MOMENTS WHEN I'M WATCHING THIS MOVIE AND THINK DID THIS HAPPEN? I SURELY HOPE THIS DID NOT HAPPEN BECAUSE THIS IS REALLY TOO MUCH. SO LET'S START THERE. HOW MUCH OF THIS FILM WAS AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL?

The caption changes to "Tracey Deer. Filmmaker, 'Beans.'"
Then, it changes again to "Coming of age during a crisis."

Tracey says SO THE EMOTIONAL THROUGH LINE OF THE FILM IS VERY MUCH REPRESENTATIVE OF MY COMING-OF-AGE STORY. IN TERMS OF ALL OF THE BIG HISTORICAL EVENTS, THE RECREATIONS THAT YOU SEE IN THE FILM, THESE ARE ALL MOMENTS THAT DID HAPPEN. I PERSONALLY WASN'T AT ALL OF THEM. I PUT MY CHARACTER THERE IN ORDER TO TELL THIS STORY. BUT I WAS AT SOME OF THEM. AND SO SOME OF THESE SCENES IN THE FILM ARE RIPPED DIRECTLY FROM MY MEMORY, AND I ENDEAVOURED TO RECREATE THEM EXACTLY AS I EXPERIENCED THEM. SO IT'S A COMBINATION. IT'S A COMBINATION OF THINGS I ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED MYSELF, HISTORICAL MOMENTS THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, AND SOME MOMENTS CREATED TO REPRESENT THE EMOTIONAL MOMENTS THAT I WENT THROUGH IN MY COMING OF AGE.

Steve says YEAH, I GET YOU. I GUESS YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN A KID OF ABOUT 12 YEARS OLD WHEN THE OKA CRISIS HAPPENED. I WONDER HOW INFLUENTIAL THAT WAS I GUESS IN YOUR EVENTUAL DECISION DOWN THE ROAD TO BECOME A FILMMAKER?

Tracey says SO IT WAS VERY INFLUENTIAL IN THE FILMMAKER I HAVE BECOME. I WILL SAY THAT. THAT SUMMER REALLY SHATTERED MY SENSE OF SAFETY, MY SENSE OF SELF-WORTH, AND IT LED ME DOWN A VERY, VERY DARK PATH, A VERY HOPELESS PATH FOR MUCH OF MY ADOLESCENCE, AND IT WAS THE RESILIENCE... THE RESILIENCY AND THE STRENGTH OF MY PEOPLE THAT I'M SO GRATEFUL FOR BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO CLIMB OUT OF THAT DARKNESS AND THE OKA CRISIS AND WHAT I EXPERIENCED THERE IS REALLY NOW MY FUEL IN ALL THE WORK THAT I DO, IN ALL THE BRIDGE-BUILDING I SEEK TO DO WITH THE STORIES I TELL. I NEVER WANT SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO HAPPEN AGAIN AND I NEVER WANT ANOTHER INDIGENOUS CHILD TO HAVE THAT KIND OF COMING-OF-AGE. IN TERMS OF IT INSPIRING ME TO BECOME A FILMMAKER, I WAS ALREADY ON THAT PATH. I HAD STARTED WATCHING MOVIES AT HOME. I WAS JUST ENTHRALLED WITH THESE DIFFERENT WORLDS AND THE SAFE SPACE TO FEEL MY EMOTIONS. SO I WAS 12 YEARS OLD WHEN I WAS HIT BY THE THUNDERBOLT TO BECOME A FILMMAKER, AND I WAS ALSO 12 YEARS OLD WHEN I WENT THROUGH THIS REALLY DEVASTATING MOMENT AND IT BEGAN THIS JOURNEY OF FIGURING OUT WHO I AM AS AN INDIGENOUS PERSON AND WHAT THAT MEANS TO BE AN INDIGENOUS PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Steve says HOW OLD IS THE YOUNG GIRL THAT YOU CAST TO PLAY BEANS?

Tracey says IN THE FILM, THE ACTRESS WAS 13 YEARS OLD WHEN WE FILMED THIS.

Steve says HOW DID YOU FIND HER? SHE WAS AMAZING.

In a picture, the girl who plays Beans poses next to two men in camouflage clothes.

The caption changes to "Tracey Deer, @traceydeer."

Tracey says I KNOW. SHE IS INCREDIBLE. SHE IS A STAR. WE DID AN OPEN CASTING CALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO FIND OWL OWL... ALL OF THE YOUNG TALENTS FROM THE FILM. WE ARE USED TO LIVING IN THIS PANDEMIC AND LIVING WITH ZOOM CASTING ONLINE. BACK THEN IT WAS A NEW THING FOR THEM TO FILM THEMSELVES IN THEIR... WHEREVER THEY'RE COMFORTABLE AND SEND IT TO US. WE ENDED UP COMING UP WITH A SHORTLIST FOR EACH ROLE AND WE FLEW THE KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES INTO TORONTO FOR A TWO-DAY ACTING WORKSHOP WHERE THEY GOT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT IT IS TO BE AN ACTOR, HOW TO ACCESS YOUR EMOTIONS AND I WAS THERE FOR THE ENTIRE THING. WE DIDN'T DO ANY SCENES FOR BEANS. IT WAS REALLY A FUN TIME FOR THE KIDS TO LEARN ABOUT ACTING AND TO SPEND TIME WITH EACH OTHER. AND AFTER THAT WE DID ANOTHER AUDITION PROCESS. THEY WERE ALL THERE AND I WAS ABLE TO PAIR THEM UP IN SIBLING PAIRS AND SEE WHAT KIND OF CHEMISTRY THEY HAD, AND IT WAS AFTER THAT THAT WE FOUND THREE OF OUR LEAD ROLES AND THEN THE LAST ROLE OF RUBY, THE YOUNGEST CHARACTER, I DISCOVERED HER A LITTLE BIT LATER AND SHE COMES FROM MY COMMUNITY OF.

Steve says WE'RE GOING TO PUT YOU IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE WE'RE GOING TO SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF YOU. AND WITH THE LEAD CHARACTER, WITH BEANS, WE'RE GOING TO PUT YOU IN SEXUALLY PROVOCATIVE AND VERY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THE PURPOSES OF TELLING THIS STORY. HOW DID THAT CONVERSATION GO?

Tracey says WELL, THE CONVERSATION ISN'T... ISN'T THAT. THE CONVERSATION IS, HERE IS THE SCRIPT AND HERE IS THE STORY AND HERE IS HOW I WANT TO FILM IT. SO ON THE PAGE AND ON THE SCREEN, IT IS VERY SCARY AND VERY UGLY AND VERY TRAUMATIC. THERE ARE MANY SCENES THAT ARE VERY TRAUMATIC. BUT WE SET OUT IN TELLING THE STORY... WE SET OUT WITH THE GOAL OF NOT CAUSING TRAUMA AND ALSO HAVING AS MUCH FUN AS POSSIBLE. I BELIEVE, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE ARE KIDS INVOLVED, KIDS SHOULD NOT BE WORKING. THEY'RE CHILDREN. SO FOR THEM TO COME ON BOARD AND DO THIS WITH ME, THEY NEEDED TO BE HAVING FUN. THEY NEEDED TO BE ENJOYING THEMSELVES...

Steve says TRACEY, TRACEY. SO MANY OF THE SCENES DID NOT LOOK FUN, I GOTTA TELL YOU.

Tracey says I KNOW. I KNOW. AND THAT IS... THAT IS THE MAGIC OF MOVIE-MAKING. WHEN IT WAS ALL PIECED TOGETHER, YOU SEE WHAT IT IS. BUT ON THE DAY, THERE WERE MANY DIFFERENT THINGS WE DID TO PROTECT THE KIDS AND KEEP THE ENERGY ON SET VERY POSITIVE AND VERY STRESS-FREE. AND I KNOW IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE ONCE YOU SEE THE ACTUAL FILM. BUT, FOR INSTANCE, A LOT OF THE SCENES WHERE THERE ARE SOME VERY DIFFICULT SUBJECT MATTER GOING ON, OUR SHOOTING PLANS ACTUALLY HAD THE KIDS VERY MUCH REMOVED FROM A LOT OF IT. SO THE KIDS USED THEIR IMAGINATION. I TOLD THEM... I GIVE THEM AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THEM, AND IN THE SHOTS WHERE YOU SEE THEM CRYING OR SCREAMING, RUNNING, SCARED, THAT IS ALL OF THEIR IMAGINATION. SO THE KIDS NEVER SAW THE OTHER SIDE OF IT UNTIL THEY SAW THE FINAL CUT OF THE FILM, AND THAT... I THINK THAT'S A REAL TESTAMENT TO THEIR TALENT, BECAUSE YOU DO FEEL THAT THEY ARE IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THAT AND THEY ARE REACTING DIRECTLY TO THOSE STRESSES. BUT IN FACT FOR MANY OF IT, THEY ARE SURROUNDED BY A VERY SUPPORTIVE TEAM... OF COURSE, THEIR FAMILY IS THERE AND ALL OF THESE KIDS BECAME VERY, VERY CLOSE, AND THEY HAD A REALLY GOOD TIME. IN BETWEEN CERTAIN TAKES, THERE WERE MASSIVE GIGGLE FESTS GOING ON. GAWANDEEL, THAT WOULD GO FROM A SCENE THAT I JUST FIND SO HEART-WRENCHING IN THE MOTEL, SHE HAS AN EMOTIONAL BREAKDOWN IN THAT BATHROOM, AND SHE WENT TO THIS PERFORMANCE PLACE THAT IS EXTRAORDINARY AND THEN AS SOON AS WE YELLED "CUT" AND I HAVE TEARS STREAMING DOWN MY FACE BECAUSE THE PERFORMANCE IS REACHING ME, SHE LOOKED TO ME WITH A BIG SMILE ON HER FACE AND SAID, "HOW WAS THAT?" AND I JUST TOLD HER, THAT WAS THE MOST INCREDIBLE THING. LET'S GO AND CHECK TO SEE HOW YOUR FATHER IS DOING. AND WE LEFT THE BATHROOM AND THIS INCREDIBLE YOUNG WOMAN IS SKIPPING DOWN THE HALL... YOU KNOW, SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE JUST ACCOMPLISHED. AND SHE COMES INTO THE NEXT ROOM TO SEE HER FATHER, TO SEE HER FRIENDS, AND HER FRIENDS, THE OTHER ACTORS, ARE ALL THERE. AND THEY'RE ALL GIVING HER SO MANY... LIKE, "WOW, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT!" AND HER FATHER IS STRICKEN. I'M STRICKEN. BUT SHE WAS HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME AND FILLED WITH PRIDE AT WHAT SHE WAS DOING. AND SO I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAKES A GREAT ACTOR, AND THERE'S THE ROLE AND THEN THERE'S WHO YOU ARE. AND THAT WAS VERY MUCH ENCOURAGED ON THE SET, IS WHEN YOU ARE NOT IN THE ROLE, YOU COME BACK TO YOURSELF, AND THAT IS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT EMOTIONAL SPACE TO BE IN.

Steve says WELL, IT'S VERY WELL-DIRECTED AND EXTREMELY WELL-EDITED THEN. I TELL YOU, YOU CERTAINLY CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT THESE KIDS ARE IN THE MIDST OF THIS WORLD COMING IN ON THEM AND... LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH THIS: WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE CAST AND CREW WOULD YOU SAY ON YOUR PICTURE WERE OF INDIGENOUS BACKGROUND?

Tracey says SO OF COURSE ALL OF THE INDIGENOUS ROLES IN THE FILM WERE PLAYED BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. THEY WERE NOT ALL MOHAWK. THEY REPRESENTED NATIONS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IN REGARDS TO OUR CREW, YOU KNOW, I ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS DO SEEK TO HIRE AS MANY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE, AND OVER THE YEARS, WORKING OUT HERE WITH MOHAWK GIRLS, I'VE DEVELOPED WONDERFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH A NUMBER OF CREW. SO I CERTAINLY CANNOT SAY IT'S A GIANT PERCENTAGE, UNFORTUNATELY, BUT OUR HAIR AND MAKEUP TEAM WERE ALL INDIGENOUS. WHO ELSE?

Steve says WELL, I ASK THE QUESTION FOR THIS REASON BECAUSE I ASSUME, WITH A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF INDIGENEITY ON THE SET AND IN THE POST-PRODUCTION AND SO ON, THAT YOU, AS THE FILMMAKER, HAVE TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT BEING CAREFUL NOT TO RETRAUMATIZE PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE THIS STORY AS A VERY SIGNIFICANT PART OF THEIR PAST. HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

The caption changes to "Processing trauma."

Tracey says YES. SO HOW WE DID THAT, IT WAS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. AGAIN, ALL OF OUR MOHAWK EXTRAS IN THE FILM, MANY OF THEM WERE SURVIVORS OF THIS SUMMER AND A BIG FIRST PIECE OF THAT IS INFORMED CONSENT. SO EVERYONE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE GETTING INTO. OFTENTIMES WHEN YOU'RE HIRING EXTRAS, THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE COMING TO DO. YOU'RE BOOKED FOR A TIME, YOU'RE BOOKED FOR A PLACE, AND YOU SHOW UP AND SOMETIMES IT'S REALLY FUN. YOU FIND OUT YOU'RE GOING TO BE A FIREMAN. YOU FIND OUT YOU'RE GOING TO BE AT A MALL. AND I NOT WANT ANYONE SHOWING UP TO DISCOVER THAT THEY WERE GOING TO BE RELIVING A TRAUMATIC EVENT. I ALSO FELT THE SAME WAY ABOUT ALL OUR NON-INDIGENOUS EXTRAS. I DIDN'T WANT ANYONE COMING TO SET AND BEING SURPRISED AND UNCOMFORTABLE THAT THEY HAD TO PLAY A RACIST. SO THERE WAS INFORMED CONSENT ACROSS THE BOARD. SO EVERYONE THAT DID COME WANTED TO BE THERE. AND THEY HAD THEIR OWN REASON FOR WANTING TO COME AND BE A PART OF IT. WE ALSO HAD... WE HAD THREE INDIGENOUS SOCIAL WORKERS THERE ON OUR MOST TRAUMATIC DAY, WHEN WE RECREATED THE MOB THROWING STONES AT THE WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND ELDERLY. WE HAD A PTSD SPECIALIST THERE, AND THESE SUPPORT WORKERS WERE THERE FOR EVERYBODY. WE DIDN'T FILM ANY OF THE TRAUMATIC RECREATIONS WITHIN THE COMMUNITIES THAT THEY TOOK PLACE. SO WE FOUND LOCATIONS A GOOD 40 TO 45 MINUTES OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITIES THIS TOOK PLACE IN BECAUSE IT WAS NOT ABOUT, YOU KNOW, OPENING WOUNDS AT ALL. WE'VE COME A LONG WAY AS COMMUNITIES OVER THE 30 YEARS TO REPAIR ALL OF THAT. SO WE FOUND COMMUNITIES OUTSIDE THAT WERE, AGAIN, ALSO VERY WELCOME. THEY KNEW WHAT WE WERE GOING TO DO. THERE WAS NO SMOKINESS. EVERYONE... SNEAKINESS. I'M TRYING TO THINK OF WHAT ELSE WE DID.

Steve says THAT'S A PRETTY GOOD LIST RIGHT THERE.

Tracey says THANK YOU!

Steve says THIS DID TAKE PLACE 30 YEARS AGO, I REMEMBER IT WELL, IT WAS A DISPUTE OVER A DEVELOPER WHO WANTED TO BUILD A GOLF COURSE ON WHAT WAS ANCESTRAL BURIAL FOR PLACES IN OKA IN QUEBEC. IT WAS 30 YEARS AGO. HOW MUCH OF THIS STORY DO YOU THINK IS STILL VERY PRESENT-DAY?

Tracey says IT IS ENTIRELY CURRENT. THE FILM IS A PERIOD PIECE, 30, 31 YEARS AGO, AS YOU SAID. BUT THE THEMES ARE ALL STILL PLAYING OUT ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. THE DAMAGE THAT WAS DONE TO ME AS A LITTLE GIRL IS STILL BEING DONE TO OUR CHILDREN ACROSS THE COUNTRY. SO EVEN THOUGH IT IS A PERIOD PIECE, IT IS STILL... IT'S A CURRENT STORY WITH A VERY VITAL MESSAGE THAT THINGS DO NEED TO CHANGE RIGHT NOW SO THAT THIS IS NO LONGER THE COMING-OF-AGE STORY OF OUR CHILDREN BECAUSE IT IS DEVASTATING AND IT DESTROYS HOPE AND IT JUST HAS TO STOP. I'M TIRED OF IT BEING AN UNSAFE PLACE FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. IT JUST REALLY DOES HAVE TO STOP.

Steve says ALL RIGHT. HAVING SAID THAT, YOU WERE ON A PROGRAM IN 2008 TALKING ABOUT YOUR DOCUMENTARY AT THE TIME, "CLUB NATIVE," WHICH IS SET ON A MOHAWK RESERVE IN QUEBEC. THERE WERE TWO THEMES, DON'T MARRY A WHITE PERSON AND DON'T HAVE A CHILD WITH A WHITE PERSON. THAT WAS IN 2008. HAS THERE BEEN A SHIFT IN THINKING SINCE THEN, IN YOUR VIEW?

Tracey says SO THE ANSWER IS COMPLICATED. I THINK THAT THERE IS A YOUNGER GENERATION COMING UP THINKING ABOUT PRESERVATION OF CULTURE IN A DIFFERENT WAY. BUT THERE'S DEFINITELY STILL A GENERATION THAT BELIEVES IN THAT BLOOD QUANTUM MENTALITY, AND THAT MENTALITY IS OFTEN PASSED THROUGH FAMILY. SO IT'S STILL A VERY COMPLICATED AND CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE BACK HOME AND I THINK IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Steve says WELL, OKAY. HOW PERSONAL CAN I GET WITH YOU HERE?

Tracey says I DON'T KNOW. HOW PERSONAL DO YOU WANT TO GO?

Steve says WELL, WHO ARE YOU MARRIED TO?

Tracey says I AM MARRIED TO A QUEBECOIS MAN, HIS NAME IS SYLVAIN, AND HE IS WONDERFUL.

Steve says IS HE INDIGENOUS?

Tracey says HE IS NOT. HE'S QUEBECOIS.

Steve says IS THAT A PROBLEM FOR SOME IN YOUR COMMUNITY?

Tracey says YES, I THINK IT IS A PROBLEM FOR SOME PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY. I DO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF MY FAMILY AND I DO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF SOME PEOPLE AS WELL, AND I HAVE THE LOVE OF AN INCREDIBLE MAN IN MY LIFE. I HAVE A WONDERFUL FAMILY. I HAVE SUPPORT. I HAVE SAFETY. AND THAT'S WHAT REALLY MATTERS TO ME.

Steve says YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU WATCH YOUR MOVIE, YOU COULD COME AWAY FROM THAT FILM THINKING, "I CANNOT IMAGINE THE FRANCOPHONE COMMUNITY OF QUEBEC AND THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY LOCATED IN QUEBEC EVER GETTING TOGETHER ON ANYTHING. THERE'S JUST WAY TOO MUCH ENMITY AND HOSTILITY THERE. AND I GUESS YOU ARE AN EXAMPLE THAT THAT'S NOT TRUE. DO YOU THINK OF YOURSELF THAT WAY?

Tracey says I DO THINK WE... I DO THINK WE REPRESENT HOW BRIDGES CAN BE BUILT AND I DO THINK THAT LOVE IS THE WAY THAT WE BUILD THOSE BRIDGES. WHAT WAS REALLY INTERESTING WHEN I FIRST MET SYLVAIN AND WE FIRST STARTED DATING AND WE GOT INTO HOW STRONGLY WE FEEL ABOUT OUR CULTURES, I DID HAVE ALL OF THOSE PAST MESSAGES IN MY HEAD ABOUT HOW WOULD THIS EVER WORK? AND WE VERY QUICKLY CAME TO REALIZE THAT HE FEELS JUST AS PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS CULTURE AS I FEEL ABOUT MINE AND THAT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. AND THERE WAS GREAT UNDERSTANDING THAT WAS REACHED WHEN I REALIZED WE'RE ACTUALLY MORE ALIKE THAN WE ARE DIFFERENT. AND HE WANTS TO CELEBRATE AND LIVE IN HIS CULTURE AND NOT IMPEDE ON OTHERS. AND THAT IS EXACTLY... THAT IS EXACTLY THE WAY, WHAT WE WANT AS WELL. AND SO VERY QUICKLY I FELT UNDERSTOOD, HE FELT RESPECTED, AND THAT BRIDGE WAS BUILT A LOT QUICKER THAN I THOUGHT.

Steve says THAT'S ENCOURAGING. DID HE HAVE ANY TROUBLE IN HIS FRANCOPHONE COMMUNITY TRYING TO JUSTIFY HIS MARRIAGE TO YOU?

Tracey says NOT THAT I'M AWARE, NO. HIS FAMILY HAS BEEN VERY WELCOMING, VERY CURIOUS, VERY INTERESTED, LOTS OF QUESTIONS. I THINK THAT HAS GONE SMOOTHLY.

Steve says WELL, THAT'S VERY HOPEFUL. LET ME READ BACK A QUOTE OF YOURS THAT YOU GAVE IN AN INTERVIEW LAST MONTH, AND IT GOES LIKE THIS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Platform for positive change." The quote reads "I grew up feeling very invisible and very voiceless and very unimportant. And now I have this platform... It's very overwhelming. It's very exciting. It's very fulfilling. It's also difficult because there's so many that don't get to have their dreams come true... I don't want to be one of few. I want to be one of many."
Tracey Deer, quoted in "Refinery29." May 21, 2021.

Steve says OKAY. SO WHERE ARE WE WITH INDIGENOUS FILM MAKING TODAY? ARE YOU ONE OF THE FEW OR ARE YOU ONE OF THE MANY?

The caption changes to "Amplifying voices."

With a broken voice and tears in her eyes, Tracey says SO I REMEMBER THAT QUOTE, AND I WAS... I WAS CRYING IN THAT INTERVIEW. SO YOU PICKED A GOOD QUOTE BECAUSE IT JUST BROUGHT ME RIGHT BACK. I THINK THERE ARE... THERE ARE DEFINITELY MANY OF US, BUT MANY OF US ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO BE HEARD AND TO BE SUPPORTED AS STORYTELLERS. I DO THINK WE ARE IN AN EXTRAORDINARY MOMENT RIGHT NOW, AND THOSE DOORS ARE OPENING, WHICH IS FANTASTIC. I DO THINK THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE A MUCH BIGGER PLATFORM. WE DO NEED... WE NEED MORE SUPPORT. SO I DO FEEL RIGHT NOW ONE OF FEW BECAUSE WE NEED WAY MORE. WE NEED MUCH MORE REPRESENTATION, NOT ONLY IN THIS BUSINESS, IN THIS INDUSTRY, BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY, IN ALL INDUSTRIES. SO I DO THINK THAT THAT STATEMENT... I SAID IT A MONTH AGO. I DO THINK IT'S VALID AND CURRENT. BUT THAT IS IN NO WAY TO DISMISS ALL OF MY INCREDIBLE COLLEAGUES WHO ARE ALL OUT THERE DOING THE SAME. YOU KNOW, I THINK WE ARE ALL ONE OF FEW AND WE JUST WANT TO KEEP BUILDING, BUILDING OUR COMMUNITY OF STORYTELLERS AND GIVING THEM THE PLATFORM THAT THEY DESERVE.

Steve says YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT ONE THING THAT THE DISCOVERY OF THE 215 DID... AND I WOULD ADD YOUR FILM TO THIS AS WELL. ONCE IT GETS INTO THEATRES, ONCE THE MOVIES GET OPEN, THE CINEMAS GET OPEN AND WE CAN ACTUALLY GO TO THE CINEMA AND WATCH YOUR MOVIE, YOU KNOW, THERE'S THE POTENTIAL RIGHT NOW FOR SOME KIND OF RECKONING OR UNDERSTANDING THAT HERETOFORE HAS ESCAPED A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. AND I GUESS I'M JUST CURIOUS AS TO WHAT YOU THINK YOUR FILM COULD DO TO CONTRIBUTE TO WHAT COULD BE, YOU KNOW, A REALLY HISTORIC MOMENT FOR THIS PLACE?

Tracey says I REALLY... I REALLY HOPE THAT FOR THE FILM. I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS A LOT. YOU KNOW, IT TOOK A VERY LONG TIME TO MAKE. IT TOOK A VERY LONG TIME TO WRITE AND FIGURE OUT THIS STORY, TO REVISIT THOSE MEMORIES. BUT I THINK IT WAS ALL NECESSARY TO BE OUT IN THIS MOMENT. I THINK IF THE FILM CAME OUT A FEW YEARS AGO, I DON'T KNOW IF THE COUNTRY WOULD HAVE BEEN READY TO GO ON THAT JOURNEY AND TAKE IN THE MESSAGES OF THE FILM AND HOPEFULLY OPEN THEIR HEARTS. SO IT ALL... IT ALL PLAYED OUT THE WAY IT NEEDED TO, TO COME OUT NOW. AND I REALLY DO HOPE THAT PEOPLE LEAVE THE FILM LOVING BEANS AND HER FAMILY AND WANTING TO GO OUT INTO THE WORLD TO DO WHAT THEY CAN TO MAKE THINGS BETTER, SOCIETY... SOCIETY IS THE PROBLEM, AND THAT IS NOT ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLE TO FIX. WE ARE DOING ALL OF THE WORK THAT WE CAN DO ON OUR END. BUT SOCIETY, THE PROBLEMS WITH SOCIETY, THAT IS ON... THAT IS UP TO CANADIANS TO ADDRESS. AND SO I HOPE THAT THE FILM IS A CALL TO ACTION. I HOPE THAT THEY LEAVE WANTING TO BE OUR ALLIES AND WANTING TO DO WHAT THEY CAN TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

Steve says NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?

Tracey says WELL, I LIKE TO CELEBRATE BEING AN INDIGENOUS PERSON AND CELEBRATE ALL OF THE INCREDIBLE BEAUTY AND STRENGTH AND RESILIENCE OF MY PEOPLE EVERY DAY, BUT I DO LOVE THAT THE COUNTRY HAS PUT A FOCUS AND GIVEN US THIS DAY TO CELEBRATE ALL THAT WE ARE. BUT I DON'T WANT US TO JUST HAVE ONE DAY. I DO WANT US TO BE IN THE MINDS OF CANADIANS EVERY DAY BECAUSE IT'S BEEN WAY TOO LONG THAT WE HAVEN'T BEEN... WE HAVEN'T BEEN IN ANYONE'S MIND FOR FAR TOO LONG. SO IT'S WONDERFUL. I WILL BE PROUD AND I WILL CELEBRATE AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY THEREAFTER.

The caption changes to "Producer: Preeti Bhuyan, @PreetiBhuyan."

Steve says HERE, HERE! I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THEATRES TO GET OPEN AGAIN SO YOUR MOVIE CAN PLAY AND PEOPLE CAN SEE IT. WE'RE REALLY GRATEFUL THAT YOU SPENT SO MUCH TIME WITH US HERE ON TVO TONIGHT TALKING ABOUT "BEANS," WHICH IS JUST A REALLY TERRIFIC AND NEVER MIND PUT YOU BACK IN THE TIME BUT IT WILL GIVE YOU SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT TODAY AS WELL. THANKS, TRACEY. GREAT TO BE WITH YOU.

Tracey says THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE IT.

Watch: Tracey Deer: Telling Indigenous Narratives Through Film