Being Thunder

Directed by Stéphanie Lamorré
Film Movement
2021
85 Minutes
France
English
Documentary, LGBTQ
Not Rated

Sherente, a Two Spirit Genderqueer teenager from Rhode Island's Narragansett tribe performs traditional dance in competitions at annual pow wows in New England. There is no formal rule which prohibits Two Spirit Genderqueer people from performing in a category different from their birth gender. Wearing female fancy shawl regalia, Sherente dances with joy and beauty. Behind the scenes tribal leaders manipulate Sherente's scores or disqualify them outright because of their belief in traditional binary gender roles. Blindsided by ongoing dishonesty and deception, Sherente continues to perform in spite of insensitive behavior by tribal leaders and others in their community. Sherente's enduring courage and self-respect are met with an outpouring of support from family, pow wow attendees, and fellow dancers.

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  • "There are still vanishingly few films which touch on Native American issues at all so this has significant value...."
    Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
  • "Being Thunder is a welcome and insightful portrait of Two-Spiritedness that uses Sherenté’s openness and resilience to explore a facet of both the rainbow and Indigenous culture that remains under-examined in film and media. Sherenté provides a worthy role model for queer youths."
    Pat Mullen, POV Magazine
  • "Being Thunder is a meditative, unintrusive documentary about a courageous Indigenous teenager who unapologetically strives for greatness against all types of resistance."
    Jen McNeely, She Does the City
  • "It's an impressive depiction of the culture, as well as a powerful exploration of a range of urgent themes."
    Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
  • " There’s color and diversity and joy in a doc that looks forward into the future."
    Paolo Kagaoan, In The Seats