Moloch Tropical, the latest feature film by acclaimed Haitian director Raoul Peck, is one of the nearly 70 films to be screened at the upcoming trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff).
Now in its fifth year, the ttff is an annual celebration of the best in Caribbean filmmaking. The Festival also screens films from the Caribbean Diaspora and Latin American countries in the Caribbean Basin. A number of African films will also be screened, as part of an ongoing heritage initiative which began last year with the screening of films from India.
Inspired by Moloch, Russian filmmaker Aleksandr Sokurov’s fictional take on Adolf Hitler, Moloch Tropical details the last hours of the rule of a fictional Haitian leader. Part elegant chamber drama, part absurdist political satire, the film is a scathing, disquieting critique of absolute power and the corrupt legacy of colonial rule.
The trinidad+tobago film festival takes place this year from September 22 to October 5. Venues include MovieTowne Port of Spain, Chaguanas and Tobago, as well as the University of the West Indies, San Fernando Hill and the St James Amphitheatre, among other locations. Apart from film screenings, the Festival includes workshops and discussion panels.
For a full schedule of films and their screening locations and times, go to the Festival’s website at www.trinidadandtobagofilmfestival.com.
A selection of the programme for the ttff/10:
Moloch Tropical (Raoul Peck/2009/Haiti)
High up in the mountains of northern Haiti is the towering Citadelle, from where the nation’s autocratic president effects his ruthless reign. On the day that the president is set to welcome a host of foreign dignitaries to commemorate the Haitian Bicentennial, an uprising explodes in the streets. The guests begin to cancel, and the president himself starts to come undone.
Julia and Joyce: Two Stories of Two Dance Pioneers (Sonja Dumas/2010/T&T)
This film looks at aspects of the local dance world and its impact through the eyes of two dance legends, Julia Edwards and Joyce Kirton. A tribute to two pioneering women as much as a history of dance in Trinidad and Tobago.
Hidden Herstories: Women of Change (Multiple directors/2010/United Kingdom)
Profiles of noteworthy women from London’s history, including Amy Ashwood-Garvey, the pan-Africanist and first wife of Marcus Garvey, and Claudia Jones, the Trinidadian activist and “mother” of the Notting Hill Carnival.
Seventeen Colours and a Sitar (Patricia Mohammed & Michael Mooleedhar/2010/T&T)
Painter Rex Dixon and musician Mungal Patasar come together in conversation and find striking similarities in their respective creative processes.
Wole Soyinka: Child of the Forest (Akin Omotuso/2009/Nigeria)
An imaginative and multi-faceted portrait of the great Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Amerindians (Tracy Assing & Sophie Meyer/2010/T&T)
A revealing look inside the Santa Rosa Carib Community, narrated by one of its members.
The Audacity of the Creole Imagination (Kim Johnson/2010/T&T)
This documentary looks at the creation of the steel pan and the milestones along the road to the modern instrument. The tale is told to a score of early pan recordings.
A Regular Black: The Hidden Wuthering Heights (Adam Low/2009/UK)
A provocative examination of Emily Brontë’s classic novel, which looks at the possibility that the book’s hero, Heathcliff, might have been a black slave.
Why do Jamaicans Run so Fast? (Miquel Galofré/2009/Jamaica)
A lively search for the key to Jamaican athletic prowess, as well as a joyful, uplifting tribute
to a nation and its people.
Caribbean Skin, African Identity (Mandisa Pantin/2010/T&T)
An examination of the concept of African identity as it has evolved over time in Trinidad and Tobago. Interviews with African-Caribbean people and scholars help to explain some of the complexities of race in this society.