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Gritty and emotionally wrenching but hopeful

Published: 
Monday, October 1, 2012
Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival
A scene from Choco.

 

The seventh Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival finishes tomorrow. Guardian columnist, BC Pires, has been writing about film since March 1988. He served on the first Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival jury in 2009 and will pick a Film of the Day for every day of the festival. Today’s choice is: Choco (Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza/2012/Colombia/Drama/Spanish with English subtitles/80 mins) 5.30 pm Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook. Q&A. One of the most emotionally wrenching films in this year’s festival, Choco is exactly the kind of film the ttff should be screening, if only to show the large number of young filmmakers in Trinidad copycatting Hollywood action and horror movies that drama also lives here. In spades. 
 
 
The plot of Choco is also depressingly familiar for many Trinidadians and West Indians: the titular mother of two young children sacrifices herself completely—overwhelmingly, devastatingly so—for the sake of her little ones. She remains in a severely abusive relationship with an unworthy drunk, and even enters another destructive one, absorbing all forms of injury and exploitation in the forlorn hope that she can make life a little better for her children. But such a life is hard, and the cost of a birthday cake or independence is very high. 
 
 
Gritty cinema verite, Colombian style, reaches a climax worthy of the name and leaves the viewer, if not hopeful, at least not resentful of the inescapable poverty in which so many in our region find themselves. The performances are excellent, to the point where you begin to suspect you’re watching a documentary. The kind of simultaneously lyrical and melodic but harsh and rattling film you’d expect from a filmmaker named Hendrix, the equivalent of the guitar player’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock. 
 
 
Best of the rest
• Inward Hunger 8.30 pm MovieTowne; 
• Wuthering Heights 7 pm Carlton Savannah Hotel.
Films start promptly at advertised times. 
 
TODAY’S MOVIES
Here is the selection of films from the TTFF today
 
1.00 pm
MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain
Riddum & Rime: Steve Hernandez, 2012, TT/12 mins
The Black Power Mix Tape: Göran Olsson, 2011, Sweden/100 mins
 
3.00 pm
The Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook
Call Me Kuchu: Catherine Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall, 2012, Uganda/USA/90 mins
 
3.30 pm
Mystic Fighters: Sophie Meyer, 2012, France/TT/UK/52 mins
Goudougoudou: Fabrizio Scapin, Pieter van Eecke, 2012, Haiti/55 mins
 
5.30 pm
The Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook
Not Today: Mandisa Pantin, 2012,  TT/3 mins
Choco: Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza, 2012, Colombia/80 mins
Q&A session, director present
 
MovieTowne, Tobago
The Cool Boys: Michael Mooleedhar, 2012, TT/26 mins
Red, Amber, Green: Christopher Byfield, 2011, Jamaica/18 mins
Lock and Key: Dana Verde, 2012, US/10 mins
 
6:00pm
MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain
Lock and Key: Dana Verde, 2012, US/10 mins
Walk a Mile: Marlon Pinder, 2012, TT/18 mins
Red, Amber, Green: Christopher Byfield, 2011, Jamaica/18 mins
The Cool Boys: Michael Mooleedhar, 2012, TT/26 mins
 
7.00 pm
The Carlton Savannah
A Regular Black: Adam Low, 2009, UK/24 mins
Wuthering Heights: Andrea Arnold, 2011, UK/129 mins
 
8.00 pm
The Little Carib Theatre, Woodbrook
The World Before Her: Nisha Pahuja, 2012, Canada/India/90 mins
 
MovieTowne, Tobago
Riddum & Rime: Steve Hernandez, 2012, TT/12 mins
The Black Power Mix Tape: Göran Olsson, 2011, Sweden/100 mins
 
8.30 pm
MovieTowne, Port of Spain
Inward Hunger: Mariel Brown, 2011, TT/133 mins