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May 26, 2022 at 2:00 pm

Cane Fire

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!


Cane Fire

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.

90 min


Anthony Banua-Simon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and editor named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2021 “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. His debut feature documentary, Cane Fire, was an official selection of the 2020 Hot Docs International Film Festival as well as the 2021 MoMA Doc Fortnight and won “Best Documentary Feature” at the 2020 Indie Memphis Film Festival and the 2021 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. His films have also screened at venues such as the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA PS1, as well as featured on The Criterion ChannelMUBIJacobinPioneer Work’s “The Broadcast”, and HuffPost.

Anthony attended The Evergreen State College and was a fellow at the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Program. He’s currently a member of the volunteer-run Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn, NY.

Presented With


May 26, 2022
2:00 pm – 9:30 pm


30 Lafayette Ave
BROOKLYN, NY 11217 United States
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