Caribbean Film Festival at BAM

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From September 1-5, BAMcinématek, the repertory film program at BAM Rose Cinemas, presents Caribbean Diaspora Film Festival, a celebration of contemporary films about the Caribbean experience. BAM hosts the series in conjunction with the West Indian Day Parade, held annually on Labor Day at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza/Prospect Park (September 5). This year the BAMcinématek series focuses on the music of the islands, along with two days of films from the Haitian Film Festival.

The series kicks off with recent Haitian films such as Jonathan Demme's The Agronomist (2004), which tells the story of Haitian national hero Jean Dominique. writes, "The Agronomist is more than a tribute to one inspirational man. With Haiti now entering the next stage in its tragic history, it's also a timely look at the roots and causes of its ongoing instability." Demme's film screens September 1 and 2. Other film highlights include Santo Domingo Blues (2003), a lyrical portrait of the Dominican Republic's most popular musical genre, Bachata (September 3 and 5); Young Rebels (2005), a look at hip hop roots in Cuba (September 3 and 4); One Love (2003) a reggae Romeo and Juliet with Bob Marley's son Ky-mani as the male lead (September 3, 4, and 5); and Calypso Dreams (2004), a documentary on stars of Calypso music (September 4 and 5). Caribbean Beat states, "Calypso Dreams is far and away the best film ever  made about calypso. Dreams does a fantastic job of introducing and celebrating the complex history and unique energy of the art form." BAM Rose Cinemas "offers one of the most civilized movie-going experiences in the city," according to The New York Times. General admission tickets to BAM Rose Cinemas are $10. Tickets are $7 for students 25 and under (with valid I.D. Monday-Thursday, except holidays) seniors, children under twelve, and BAM Cinema Club members. Tickets are available at the BAM Rose Cinemas box office, by phone at 718.777.FILM (order by "name of movie" option), or online at For more information, call the BAMcinématek hotline at 718.636.4100 or visit Caribbean Diaspora Film Festival schedule:

September 1, The Haitian Film Festival, presented by "18 Mai" Committee, Inc. and At 4:30, 9:30pm Justice (2004), 110min.
Directed by Jeanne-Marie Almonor, John G. Shulman.
Made by civil rights lawyers, Justice exposes the racial disparities in arrest rates, convictions, and incarceration that have put one in ten African-American men aged 25 to 29 in prison. Roger Guenveur Smith stars as an ambitious lawyer out to change a corrupt legal system. A Q&A with Jeanne-Marie Almonor and John G. Shulman will follow the screening.

At 6:50pm. The Agronomist (2004), 90 min.
Directed by Jonathan Demme.
Academy-Award winner Jonathan Demme worked for over a decade gathering material on Haitian national hero Jean Dominique. As owner and operator of his nation's oldest and only free radio station, Dominique fought tirelessly against injustice, oppression, and poverty until he was assassinated in2000.  With The Other Side of the Water (2005), 20min. Directed by Jeremy Robins The Other Side of the Water is a documentary-in-progress about a group of young immigrants taking music from the hills of Haiti and reinventing it on the streets of Brooklyn. A Q&A Gary Pierre-Pierre, Ja Ra Ra, Jeremy Robins, Magali Damas will follow the screening. (Also screens September 2 with Of Gods and Men at 4:30pm)

September 2, The Haitian Film Festival, presented by "18 Mai" Committee, Inc. and September 2 at 4:30pm. Of Gods and Men (2002), 52min
Directed by Anne Lescot, Laurence Magloire Prevalent, yet still taboo, homosexuality and gay culture flourish within the context of Haiti's Voodoo religion. But the AIDS epidemic looms as a continual threat and adds a degree of nihilism to relatively optimistic attitudes toward life and happiness in Port-au-Prince. With The Other Side of the Water (2005), 20min Q&A Jeremy Robins, Magali Damas, Anne Lescot, POCC, and Audre Lorde Project will follow the screening.

September 2 at 6:50pm The Agronomist (2004), 90 min.
A Q&A Michelle Montas will follow the screening. September 2 at 9:30pm. Justice (2004), 110min. Q&A Jeanne-Marie Almonor, John G. Shulman will follow the screening.

September 3. At 2, 6:50pm
Santo Domingo Blues (2003), 75min, in Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Alex Wolfe.
This film is a lyrical portrait of the Dominican Republic's most popular musical genre, Bachata, and its greatest singer/songwriter, Luis Vargas. Originally known as the Song of Bitterness, Bachata has its roots in political and social rebellion. Santo Domingo Blues explores its history, and the life and music of the enormously charismatic performer Vargas. The Village Voice remarks, "SDB excavates a salty lineup of pickers and crooners, most of whom kneel to (now deceased) Eladio R. Santos, unsung hero of the brillo, or shiny guitar tone, who in the movie joyfully plays a car wash-nightclub while still throwing a line to the mamis." (Also screens September 5 at 4:30pm)

At 4:30pm. Young Rebels (2005), 70min, in English and Spanish with English subtitles
Directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck.
A favorite at this year's New Directors/New Films, Young Rebels looks at the burgeoning hip-hop music scene in Cuba. Taken out of large cities and placed in a socialist context, the music becomes even more politicized, and MCs find new ways to use the beats and rhymes to their advantage. Filmmakers Boden and Fleck skillfully interweave the music with examinations of life in Cuba today. The New York Times writes, "This informative documentary introduces us to a number of these earnest young pop messengers, who barely have the resources to make a CD (much less mass-produce it) but have the wherewithal to organize a rap festival. From observing American culture, they are already aware that commercial success would probably contaminate their fledgling movement the way it did hip-hop in the United States. But until the day Cuban rappers are flaunting mountains of bling, the film suggests, they are waging a noble struggle to be heard." (Also screens September 4 at 2, 6:50pm)

At 9:15pm.  One Love (2003), 100min. Directed by Rick Elgood, Don Letts
With Ky-mani Marley, Cherine Anderson Co-directors Letts and Elgood's follow up to their enormously popular Dancehall Queen, One Love is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, set in the music scene of Jamaica. Marley (son of the late Bob Marley) plays a Rastafarian singer who falls in love with his talent contest competitor, the
gospel-singing Anderson. (Also screens September 4 at 9:15pm; and September 5 at 6:50pm)

September 4. At 2, 6:50 pm. Young Rebels (2005), 70min, in English and Spanish with English subtitles. Q&A with directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck will follow the screening.

At 4:30pm. Calypso Dreams (2004) 85min. Directed by Geoffrey Dunn, Michael Horne
Shot over the course of three years in Trinidad, this exuberant documentary examines the lives and music of some of the biggest Calypso stars. More than just a Trinidadian Buena Vista Social Club, the film delights in providing a detailed history of Calypso music, including its origins as slave music. The jam-packed soundtrack is required listening for any fan. (Also screens September 5 at 2, 9:15pm)

At 9:15pm. One Love (2003), 100min.

September 5. At 2, 9:15pm. Calypso Dreams (2004)
At 4:30pm. Santo Domingo Blues (2003), 75min, in Spanish with English subtitles
At 6:50pm. One Love (2003)

Caribbean Diaspora Film Festival is part of Diverse Voices at BAM presented by Time Warner. Steiner Studios is the presenting sponsor for BAMcinématek. Leadership support is provided by The Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust. BAM Rose Cinemas is named in recognition of a major gift in honor of Jonathan F.P. and Diana Calthorpe Rose. BAM Rose Cinemas would also like to acknowledge the generous support of The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, Richard B. Fisher and Jeanne Donovan Fisher, James Ottaway, Jr., Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Bloomberg, and Trollbäck & Company. Additional support is provided by The Criterion Collection, The Liman Foundation, and The Grodzins Fund. French films are supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York. BAMcinématek would like to offer special thanks to Abiba Wynn/Haitian Film Festival, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, Alex Wolfe/Mambo Media, Linda Dubler/High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Yvonne Deutschman, Randy Chin & Maxine Stowe/VP Records, Tyla Berchtold/Silver Nitrate, and Geoffrey Dunn/Calypso

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, BAM Rose Cinemas, BAMcafé, and Shakespeare & Co. BAMshop are located in the Peter Jay Sharp Building at 30 Lafayette Avenue (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place) in the Fort Greene
neighborhood of Brooklyn. BAM Harvey Theater is located two blocks from the main building at 651 Fulton Street (between Ashland and Rockwell Places). Subway:   2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue; D, M, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue Train:  Long Island Railroad to Flatbush Avenue Bus: B25, B26, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 all stop within three blocks of BAM Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM For ticket and BAMbus information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit

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