Curaçao could easily win the TTFF’s Best Caribbean Film by an International Filmmaker award this year, Trinidad’s Guardian reports.
Sarah Voss & Sander Snoep’s tautly woven film shockingly portrays life under slavery in the former Dutch possession by simply depicting life on the modern island: attitudes have not changed all that much. Aided by the judicious use of historical quotations as introductions to and backgrounds for the modern pictures and commentary, the filmmakers deliver a devastating blow to the notion of Caribbean Independence with great subtlety. The modern Curaçao, like the older one, is populated by a minority of privileged, often foreign, whites, whose expansive luxury is underwritten by the tight sacrifice of the larger black underclass.
In some scenes—notably the cocktail party for new buyers in a real estate development and at the table in the restaurant—all the filmmakers do is set up a camera and microphone and allow the comfortably prejudiced whites to condemn themselves out of their own mouths. But the picture of a society largely unchanged in its equation of complexion and privilege is not the bleakest thing about the film; that low point is taken by the illustration of the frightening communication gap between “Antilleans” and continental Europeans, and the even wider gap between their notions of the ideal. A bleak, entirely realistic perspective, Curaçao deserves to be seen by every person in the Caribbean, if only so we know the depressingly low point from which we have to begin approaching one another. Few films deliver as many cringes-per-frame to the comfortable middle class; the greater your privilege, the more likely you are to wonder what all the fuss is about.
For the original report go to