May 26, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Directed by Anthony Banua-Simon
We are so thrilled to see former UNDO CoLab alum Anthony Banua-Simon’s first feature film Cane Fire at BAM! UnionDocs is delighted to be a presentation partner for the closing screening on Thursday May 26, though the film will screen starting 5/20 through 5/26.
Hailed as “A necessary corrective to the perception of Hawaiian identity that diagnoses the problem of representation in pop culture through the filmmaker’s own deeply personal lens” by Eric Kohn in Indiewire, and The New York Times lauded Banua-Simon for “tremendous educational and moral value in his [Banua-Simon’s] overview of the history of Kauai. He has a strong grasp of how industries mutate, replicating their practices of exploitation like a cancer. The context he provides in voice-over and through archival footage lends power to his interviews, suggesting the generations of exhaustion that underlie simple statements of frustration and grief.”
This is one not to miss! We’ll see you there Thursday!
90 min., 2020
The Hawaiian island of Kaua’i is seen as a paradise of leisure and pristine natural beauty, but these escapist fantasies obscure the colonial displacement, hyper-exploitation of workers, and destructive environmental extraction that have actually shaped life on the island for the last 250 years. Cane Fire critically examines the island’s history—and the various strategies by which Hollywood has represented it—through four generations of director Anthony Banua-Simon’s family, who first immigrated to Kaua’i from the Philippines to work on the sugar plantations. Assembled from a diverse array of sources—from Banua-Simon’s observational footage, to amateur Youtube travelogues, to epic Hollywood dance sequences— Cane Fire offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of the economic and cultural forces that have cast Indigenous and working class residents as extras in their own story.