The documentary Being Thunder will be released on DVD and digital Jan. 10 from Film Movement.
The film, an Official Selection of Frameline, NewFest, The American Indian Film Festival and the Inside Out Film Festival, introduces the Native American role of a two-spirit person, who embodies masculine and feminine qualities through many gender expressions informed by Indigenous traditions and community roles. The film focuses on the life and advocacy of Sherente Mishitahin Harris, a two-spirit genderqueer teenager from Rhode Island’s Narragansett tribe.
Wearing traditional female dress, Sherente joyfully performs a traditional female dance in competition at Powwows around New England, but not everyone accepts Sherente’s inclusion in the “girls” category. Being Thunder is the stirring story of Sherente’s persistence, aided by love and unconditional support from peers and family. From facing biased Powwow judges to tackling college applications, Sherente shines through as a role model for youth worldwide to go against the grain and live their authentic selves with tenacity and grace.
French filmmaker Stephanie Lamorré quietly documents Sherente’s life and family interactions over the course of several years, revealing the struggles and triumphs faced by the determined teen courageously navigating questions of identity, expression, and how to be one’s authentic self.
Being Thunder is a rare example of a three-dimensional, Indigenous LGBTQ+ BIPOC story, demonstrating the need for far more on screen representation, according to a Film Movement release.