'24th New York African Film Festival'
Films co-presented by Cinema Tropical
PLAY THE DEVIL
(Maria Govan, Trinidad, 2016, 90 min. In English)
In Play the Devil, the prevailing poverty and lush beauty of Trinidad and the pulsating rhythms of Carnival are backdrop to a story where dreams and obsession collide. Gifted 18-year-old Gregory is his family’s only hope for financial success. When the naive young man meets James, a powerful, affluent businessman offering friendship and guidance, his world spins out of control. As James’s persistent advances become more intrusive and menacing, Gregory’s initial compliance changes to rejection and the fallout threatens to ruin his future and expose his secrets. Gregory and James face each other once again—on Carnival Monday, when young men cover themselves in blue paint, dress as devils, and become lost in the frenzy of drumming and howling.
Sunday, May 7, 6:15pm
AYITI MON AMOUR
(Guetty Felin, Haiti, 2016, 88 min. In Haitian Creole, French, and Japanese with English subtitles)
Set in Haiti five years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, Guetty Felin’s magical realist tale avoids the kinds of images of the disaster that saturated screens around the world. In his depiction of young Orphée’s grief over the loss of his father beneath the rubble of decimated buildings (represented in ghostly images that float beneath the ocean’s surface), Felin refuses to tell a story of victimhood. Instead, she gives the narrative back to the Haitian people, whose lives cannot be reduced headlines. And as her characters begin to heal, Felin suggests that the island will too.
Preceded by: JOJOLO (Lebert Bethune, Jamaica/USA, 1966, 12 min. In English) A subtle study of cultural identity following a graceful young woman of Haitian descent who works as a fashion model and actress in cosmopolitan Paris. Cool, light, and lyrical in style, Bethune’s portrait has a deft thematic touch.
Sunday, May 7, 8:30pm