Beginning February 6 and going through February 10, 2013, the Community Folk Art Center, in Syracuse, New York, presents its second annual Caribbean Cinematic Film Festival. This year’s festival promises to be real treat for your Caribbean senses, with film, spoken word, photography, food and discussion events. While the festival presents a whole-Caribbean experience, in this post, we will focus on the films.
Synopsis: The story focuses on Jesse, a young woman from England, who goes to Trinidad to bury her father. Reluctantly she agrees to meet her mother, whom she thought had abandoned her when she was a child. Her mother tells her stories, revealing a troubled and violent marriage, and Jesse is forced to face the truth about her past.
The movie What My Mother Told Me is unique in that it is one of the few works produced by a Trinidadian woman about the paradoxes and survival strategies of Caribbean women. Exquisitely beautiful and profoundly moving, What My Mother Told Me is a dramatic journey towards self discovery.
Watch the trailer here:
Synopsis: This documentary film explores the feminist work of Las Krudas, an all-woman hip hop trio from Cuba. The film narrates the impact that the queer group has had in the underground hip hop spheres of Cuba and the United States. “Reina de Mi Misma, Queen of Myself” explores the intricate ways in which Caribbean women experience the everyday sociopolitical, economic and cultural negotiations that occur in between nation and diaspora.
Synopsis: The concept of the documentary Taboo…Yardies, is to explore the perception of Jamaica as an Island that is saturated with homophobia, by providing Jamaicans who are pro, con and everywhere in between on this highly controversial issue, an opportunity to share their own realities. Additionally, the film gives a voice to those Jamaicans who dare to speak up and out about the intolerance and violence towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, particularly as it pertains to an individual’s human rights. With the film, Ms. BLake hopes to give viewers an opportunity to decide for themselves whether the view of Jamaica as a homophobic culture is perception or reality. More importantly, the hope is that Taboo…Yardies will become a vehicle that spurs an open an honest conversation that ultimately promotes respect and tolerance for all people regardless of sexual orientation. This documentary is unashamedly in support of human rights and against violence being advocated and/or perpetrated against LGBT Jamaicans.
Watch the trailer here:
Art, Craft or Soul
Synopsis: “Art, Craft or Soul”, is connected to a series of videos exploring craft and the craft markets in Jamaica. It addresses questions I have concerning the separation between art and craft and the connection this separation has with class. It also questions whether constructs such as “Art” and “Craft” help to reinforce power dynamics within a class system that is even more pronounced in the developing nation of Jamaica.
For more information on Sandra Stephens’ work, visit her website.
Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories
The film highlights the historical journey of an Afro-Cuban family, from Jamaica, to Cuba, to the Bronx, revealing that the Cuban-American experience is more diverse, racially and ideologically, than we are often led to believe. Diana, Ruben, and Pablo reveal stories of growing political awareness, overcoming the dangers of the streets, and coming into their own as Afro-Latinos. The protagonists experienced firsthand some of the great historical events of the 20th century – they saw Castro’s arrival in Havana and survived the US bombardment of their neighborhood during the Bay of Pigs invasion; one son fought in Vietnam and a daughter marched against it. Both working-class and professional, black and Latino, Spanish-speaking and English-speaking, the family is shown in the constant process of negotiating its identity.
For more information, visit the film’s website.