Representations of Kauaʻi as a paradise of leisure and natural beauty obscure the colonial displacement, worker exploitation, and environmental extraction that have shaped life on the island for the last 250 years. Cane Fire critically examines the island’s history through Hollywood fantasies as well as four generations of director Anthony Banua-Simon’s family, who first immigrated to Kauaʻi from the Phillipines to work on sugar plantations. Assembled from sources ranging from amateur YouTube travelogues to epic Hollywood dance sequences, Cane Fire offers a portrait of the economic and cultural forces that have cast indigenous and working-class residents as “extras” in their own story.
Directed by Anthony Banua-Simon
Producted by Mike Vass
Written by Anthony Banua-Simon and Mike Vass
About the filmmaker: 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, NY, 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, NY.
Cane Fire is preceeded by the short film “Ta Hasso I Manaina” (Let’s Remember Our Ancestors) LIVE Q&A for Ta Hasso I Manaina (Let’s Remember Our Ancestors) on 11/7 at 8:20 P.M. EST followed by a LIVE Q&A for Cane Fire at 8:30 P.M. EST.