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Tuesday , 27 October 2020
Back row: Miika Whiskeyjack and Tina Lameman. Supplied. Front row: Nathanial Arcand and Ta'Kaiya Blaney.

Beaver Lake Cree Nation actress in new movie Monkey Beach

The actress was proud to be part of a film crew that was largely Indigenous.

Beaver Lake Cree Nation actress, Tina Lameman, stars in the recently released movie, Monkey Beach, based on the two-time award winning novel by Eden Robinson.

Lameman plays the grandmother of Lisa, the main character, who since she was a child, has had visions of her brother Jimmy drowning.

The story begins with her brother’s disappearance, and Lisa embarking on a journey to Monkey Beach to save him. Lameman’s character, Ma-Ma-Oo, helps Lisa gain confidence in her supernatural abilities.

“Ma-Ma-Oo is the guiding force for Lisa. She is the one that helps Lisa understand and reassure her that what she can do is a gift, not a curse. Ma-Ma-Oo knows the significance of being able to have visions,” said Lameman.

The film was shot in the Haisla village of Kitimat in B.C., and the Haisla culture is significantly represented in Monkey Beach through the stories told.

“I had read the book, so I knew the characters would be mostly Indigenous, but when I got to Kitimat, I found out that 90 per cent of the crew was Indigenous as well. It really made me feel proud to be a part of that production because you don’t get that,” said Lameman.

“For a lot of movies, if you have an Indigenous cast, you’re not going to have Indigenous crews. There’s just not enough of us in the industry. So it was just really heartwarming to see, it was something that was invaluable, having us all make this movie together.”

Other members of the cast consist of Nathaniel Arcand, Adam Beach, Miika Whiskeyjack, and the lead, Lisa, is played by Grace Dove who played opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. Lameman discusses her experience working with the actors and actresses of the film.

“They were all professional, kind, generous, and friendly with each other. There were no egos on set, it was a great experience working with everyone,” said Lameman.

Monkey Beach can be streamed now on eventive.org.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.