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TT Film Fest Film of the Day for Friday 21 September

For Friday 21 September 2017

The 13th Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival runs until September 25th on two screens in MovieTowne Port of Spain, one in San Fernando, another in Tobago and at the University of the West Indies. Film writer, BC Pires, will be picking a Film of the Day every day. Pires sat on the first TT Film Fest Jury and wrote the Judge’s Report and has been the Youth Jury’s mentor since its inception in 2014. A different film will be picked every day, and other worthwhile films mentioned. Because of the limitations of programming schedules, the film of the day may not necessarily be the “best” one. Films with an * have been or will be daily picks.

Today’s film is:

Cocote (Nelso Carlo de los Santos/ 2017/ Dominican Republic / Experimental/Fiction / 105 mins/ 16+), 8.30pm Screen 7, MovieTowne POS q+a & 8.30pm Screen 4, MovieTowne San Fernando.

Visually, Cocote may be the strongest film of the festival.It cannot compete with the breathtaking natural beauty of Patagonia that is so magnificently captured in “…and Suddenly the Dawn… (y Pronto el Amanceer…)” but it makes up for that with inspired camera placements that transform the dullest of static, ought-to-be-dead-boring visuals – say, the interior of a minibus or a swimming pool shot from a tripod set at its far end from the characters in the scene – into riveting vistas that make the attentive viewer sit up in his cinema chair. The film earns – and, it has to be admitted, requires – its “experimental” classification to get away with its blending of straightforward documentary footage of syncretic African/Christian religious rituals, which even patient viewers may find could benefit from cutting for length, but its remarkable visual storytelling more than compensates for that. The story, too, would probably have benefitted from the director spending a little more time on the denoument than on the church interiors but the film remains, visually, hard to beat.Not for everyone, perhaps, but, for the patient cineifle, deeply rewarding.

Also consider: *Black Hair, 6pm, MT POS; *Hall, 6.30pm MT Tobago; Mangroves, 8.30pm MT POS.