A Winter Tale - A West Indian Experience

Last Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2012 Published: Thursday, 05 February 2009 Written by Daria L. Mitchell Sorhaindo

The Fifth Form Literature Group was invited to view the Film A Winter Tale written, directed, and produced by Frances-Anne Solomon. The viewing was held at the Alliance Français on Friday 16 January.

The film centered round a group of West Indians in a coffee shop in downtown Toronto. They try to come to terms with the accidental death of a young boy in the somewhat clichéd drug dealer shoot-out. These West Indians introspect not only within themselves but within their fragile community. In the film, relationships are strengthened, as well as shattered as the West Indians come to terms with the misgivings in their lives.

The girls were exposed to Canadian West Indian culture in downtown Toronto. For some of them it was an eye opener as they internalized this view of life so very different from the quiet, verdant life of Dominica.

Getting to meet the director Frances-Anne Solomon and the actor Peter Williams, as well as question them after the show was indeed a pleasure for the girls. Seeing ‘Sprang-a-lang’ the Trinidadian actor/comedian was a special surprise. He helped create nostalgia to those Trinidadians away from home when he took out his cuatro and ‘kaisoed’ through the film.

The girls felt that the film was very realistic, held their attention yet lacked that facet of Hope and Renewal that is so inherent in our West Indian people. They wished that the ending had not been so tragic but more of a liberating experience for both the actors and the audience.

It was refreshing to know that our own West Indians have entered into the arena of filming. It shows that we too can produce films reflecting our diverse cultures and portray life as we see it. We offer thanks and praise to Frances-Anne Solomon and her cast and we look forward to viewing more of her films. This experience has become a beacon to our youth who needed that one light to catapult them forward.

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