BAM Festival Brings Richness and Variety of Caribbean Film


Andrea Leonhardt (Brooklyn Reader) writes about the 5th Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Caribbean Film Series, which takes place from Thursday, March 14 through Sunday, March 17, 2019, at the BAM Rose Film Theater (located at 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, New York). [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Leonhardt writes:

BAM in collaboration with the Luminal Theater and Third Horizon will present the Caribbean Film Series: A 5th Anniversary Festival from Thursday, March 14, through Sunday, March 17.

The annual series offers a platform for contemporary films from the Caribbean and the diaspora, and brings the richness and variety of Caribbean cinema to Brooklyn, home to the largest population of Caribbean nationals in the United States.

“Caribbean cinema is at a highpoint critically and artistically, in the ways its filmmakers thrill, entertain and inform audiences globally,” state festival organizer and directors Curtis Caesar John and Romola Lucas on the festival website. “Our four-day festival at BAM not only marks the five-year anniversary of the Caribbean Film Series, but also provides an unparalleled platform to reflect on the Caribbean and its diasporic experiences, in new and unconventional ways. No ‘Jafaican’ accents here, our selections are the truth.” This year’s selection will feature shorts, narrative feature films and documentaries from Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the U.K.

The four-day festival will kick off with Idris Elba’s directorial debut Yardie (2018), an adaptation of Victor Headley’s novel which narrates the life of a young Jamaican man in 1980s London, unsure of the adult he wants to become, but committed to avenge the murder of his beloved big brother Jerry Dread.

Douvan (1)

Douvan Jou Ka Leve — The Sun Will Rise (2017), on Friday, March 15, is a personal documentary that follows Haitian filmmaker and actress Gessica Généus as she undertakes a journey to understand what she calls Haiti’s “illness of the soul”—the country’s fraught religious divide between Vodou and Christianity. With her mother’s bipolarity as her poignant point of departure, Généus interweaves traditional interviews and ethnographic-style observation with poetic narration as she seeks to connect the dots of her family’s, and her island’s, fractured history.  Généus will be joining the audience for a Q&A following the film presentation.

The works of local filmmakers will be in the focus with the selections Panorama: Jamming to the Top (2018), a documentary on a vibrant steel pan community in Brooklyn, as well as in the short films in the Caribbean Diaspora Shorts Block which will be screened on Saturday, March 16.


The festival will close with Khalik Allah’s documentary portrait of Jamaica, Black Mother (2018). Part film, part baptism, the documentary is a spiritual exploration of Jamaica, absorbing the bustling metropolis and the tranquil countryside. The screening will be followed by a Q&A featuring Allah.

For a complete schedule and tickets, go here.


[Photos (in order): Black Mother by Khalik Allah, Douvan Jou Ka Leve (The Sun Will Rise) by Gessica Généus; and Panorama: Jamming to the Top., Photo credit:]  

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