Movies

VIDEO: Cargo brings reality home

By Kediesha Perry
Observer writer

Friday, January 25, 2019

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Cargo's cast and crew believe despite the gritty themes associated with the movie, it should foster unity among Caribbean nationals and the region's film industry.

The Bahamian film's premiere took place at Carib 5 theatre in Kingston Wednesday evening.

“I feel like the Caribbean has so much potential. If we come together we can achieve great things. We won't have to wait to get movies from America; they could finally get movies from us. We won't have to get movies from Europe; they could get movies from us, too. So I just feel like the film industry really needs to be worked on,” said Haitian-French actor Jimmy Jean-Louis in a question-and-answer session following the movie's screening.

Written and directed by Bahamian Kareem Mortimer, Cargo is produced by Alexander Younis. The 2017 film highlights human trafficking.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2016 Global Report, 28 per cent of trafficking victims worldwide are children. Central America and the Caribbean account for 64 per cent of that figure.

Mortimer depicts the harsh realities of illegal Haitian immigrants in The Bahamas, fleeing to Miami for a better life.

The Bahamas — given its close location to the United States — is a prime destination for people trafficked from Haiti and other Caribbean countries.

The Bahamas has contributed significantly to film and television producing actors such as Sir Sidney Poitier, Calvin Lockhart, and Roxie Roker.

But Mortimer said only a fraction of youth understand the importance of actors and their roles highlighting pressing issues such as those tackled in Cargo.

“I think that some youths are cognisant of what we do as actors. I think for the most part people just pay attention to the glamour of things,” he said.

He believes the best way to combat that ignorance is to host educational events on the industry.

“Like what we're doing now, I think we can fix this through more dialogue; we can host film festivals to give others a better idea of what we do,” he continued.

Part proceeds from Cargo's Caribbean release­ will be donated to Hollywood Unites for Haiti, a non-profit organisation founded by Jean-Louis to promote sports and cultural activities for underprivileged youth in Haiti.

Jamaican model-turned-actress Nicole 'Sky' Grey who has a role in the film, told Splash that the experience was similar to her 2011 turn in Better Mus Come.

“Working on this film was really serious because human trafficking is a serious issue in the Caribbean. Better Mus Come was also very intense. Both films are based on the Caribbean and it was very interesting working on set,” she said.

Attendees including the University of the West Indies lecturer, Dr Carolyn Cooper commended the film-makers/actors for their “powerful” portrayal of human trafficking as well as avoiding the stereotypical gun violence associated with Caribbean films.


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