Feb 7-10, 2021

Cane Fire

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The Hawaiian island of Kauai 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 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 Kauai 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.

Filmmaker Biographies

Anthony Banua-Simon is a documentary filmmaker and editor. His films have screened at venues such as the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA PS1, as well as the websites MUBI, Filmmaker Magazine, and Hyperallergic. In 2014, his short about the workers of the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, New York, Third Shift, won best documentary at the Brooklyn Film Festival. 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.


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February 7-10, 2021.