VIFF 2020: ‘Monkey Beach’ offers gorgeous looks at both scenery and culture | Awesome Friday!

[…] the film struggles because the performances and pacing are uneven in the first two acts. I can’t speak to why exactly, but it feels rushed. Then, in the third act, in which the main character, Lisa, finally accepts who she is and what she needs to do, the film really picks up, but the journey to get there is a little rough around the edges. 

That’s not to say there aren’t bright spots. Adam Beach shines as Lisa’s uncle, a survivor of the residential schools and staunch advocate for First Nations rights. The film itself is also an unabashedly a First Nations story and a look into Haisla culture and traditions –and their place in Canadian culture– that we rarely get to see depicted on screen.