Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Time to Elevate our Minds & Hearts

For the WorldCup 2018, now that all the African country teams have been eliminated. I’ve been inundated with memes, posts and articles of how the remaining teams are conveniently using players who have African heritage to win in the finals. These articles try to remind me of how great Africa is  as a continent, and to never forget what “some” of our forefathers went through as slaves brought over to work and settle in neighbouring 1st world lands. But this kind of talk and topic has been prevalent for quite some time before too. “Wakanda Forever”, “Black Heritage Month”, and the list goes on and on and on. 

I have no problem with others trying to empower others to be better. But I do have a problem with the same “black people” conveniently using their “blackness” when it suits them. Aren’t these same celebrities wearing, supporting and being paid by white-owned companies? If the African WorldCup teams were so good, then why aren’t they in the finals? It seems to me, that including players of “all” races makes a team stronger. Or perhaps, just good players and good coaching? I am not saying that slavery and hate crimes didn’t and don’t exist, but have you really took a look into our history books? Who exchanged slaves for money in Africa? And aren’t we full of several examples of hate in our history? From the Holocaust stories, right down to the gays and transgenders?

I am a black woman, married to a white man. And that shouldn’t matter. There are people who want to change, and are making the change. I’m tired of us pointing fingers, and speaking in the past, when we are all guilty of judging others and serving hate. It’s time we stop being part of the problem and work towards a solution and more importantly ‘healing’. As India Arie so aptly sang, “I am not the color of my skin…” We are so much more than  our hue, and country for that matter. And when we truly realize that, it will be when all colors of the human race, this homosapien species can finally live in Peace. 

I have experienced hate not only from white people, but people of all colors and believe it or not, from people who look just like me too! Why don’t we hear or speak about that? Shouldn’t that be the first issue that we should fix? Within our own races we try to separate and hurt each other. This topic makes me think of ‘vegans’ who still drive diesel vehicles and use Air Conditioning, and chastise someone who may not be able to afford or been educated to eat otherwise. Who are we to pick and choose what’s best for anyone? If we are so ‘Afro-centric’, shouldn’t we all move back to Africa? How about stop straightening our hair and bleaching our skin. The problem that we have lies much deeper than a mixed-race or predominantly black football European team. 

Being born and raised in the Caribbean, because of history, I automatically have many strains of race flowing through my veins, and living there I was lucky to be exposed to many people, cultures, religions and races. Yes, hate and racism exists there too. But I also learnt of inclusion, celebration and tolerance. I choose not to be a victim, I choose to focus on being resilient and lift up the values worth remembering. I think it’s something we should try to incorporate world-wide. This problem won’t be fixed overnight. I would be naive to think so; but I think it’s imperative we stop generalizing and supporting hate of all kinds, and be more loving and inclusive of everyone. 

Remember, our beliefs shape our reality and our aim in life should never be trying to make others feel guilty or break each other down, because of our history and our differences. Rather, we should be respecting and learning from our history, our experiences, and educating and encouraging positive change. Finding ways of healing to move forward in a hopefully one day, color-blind world. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


“I know all about you. You’re just a sad, second rate, boring, impotent little copycat.”

Written by Ann Biderman and David Madsen and directed by English, Jon Amiel, ‘Copycat’ was a flawless, classic, Drama/Mystery/Thriller that I’d happily have the pleasure to work on as an actress. Our main characters, Helen Hudson and MJ Monahan played by Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter respectively were two strong, intelligent, female characters that brought this film to life!

Based in San Francisco, this story shows immense research and takes the audience on an imaginative and discerning ride into the minds of a criminal psychologist, a serial killer and a top-notch detective. One of our villains, Daryll Lee Cullum, expertly played by ‘Harry Connick Jr.’ literally spent weeks watching documentaries on serial killers in preparation for his role. Sigourney Weber stated that she was most proud of her work in this film because she worked hard to portray the mindset of an agoraphobic and consulting with lead forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz who interviewed serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer really was a challenge for her. Holly Hunter also divulged that she spent countless hours with different homicide detectives in downtown L.A. to help her get into character. 

This is a movie that you see the considerable amount of work and preparation put in by actors as well as the crew. The dynamics set in place, the mysterious unfolding, first-rate acting and great soundtrack and dialogue all had the makings for a cult-classic! They got 2 wins and 1 nomination that year and almost doubled at the box-office - here’s to one of the best serial-killer movies since ‘Silence of the Lambs’!

The Stepfather

This ‘2009’ Crime/Thriller was a sinister and discomforting film exposing tactics of a killer. ‘The Stepfather’ written by J.S. Cardone and Donald E. Westlake and directed by Nelson McCormick slowly brings viewers into a loving family and step by step unveils suspicious and agonizing behaviour by our main character David Harris, played by actor Dylan Walsh. 

Almost triple at the box-office, produced by Screen Gems, Maverick Films, and Imprint Entertainment, with a budget of $11 million USD it made back a cool $29 million USD in one month that year. Nominated for 2 awards, this motion picture has all the cinematic maneuverings to leave the audience squirming in their seats but still wanting more.

Sela Ward, Penn Badgley, and Amber Heard also came out to play and although some ‘make-out’ scenes between the teen-agers  I found unnecessary, overall it made for a very good film.

Death at a Funeral

"On April 16th, no-one will rest in peace.”

2010’s ’Death at a Funeral’, was an outlandish comedy; hosting a powwow of comedians that surprisingly and easily flipped the meaning of a melancholic funeral ceremony. This amusing tale brought us from one preposterous moment to the next and if anything can go wrong during this difficult time, everything does! 

Written by Dean Craig and directed by Neil LaBute, this film was crammed with secrets and fun characters our viewers loved to see. ‘Chris Rock’ who played our main character Aaron, tried his best to keep serene in an ever-increasingly deranged and exasperating situation. Peter Dinklage, Loretta Devine, Danny, Glover, Kevin Hart, Martin Lawrence, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Luke Wilson, and the beautiful and funny Regina Hall all came together to make this story an unforgettable one. 

Rated R for language, drug content and sexual humor this film isn’t suitable for children. Every family has mystery, but this one just happens to take the cake! 

Old Boy

Originally written in Japan by writers Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, and incipiently brought to the big screen by Korean director Chan-wook Park in 2003; Hollywood short of ideas these days decided to bring this film to the screen once more. Expertly made by Park, this Action/Drama/Mystery was easily slotted as one of the top rated movies of all time, garnering 38 wins and 18 nominations that year. 

Sadly, even though ‘Old Boy’ was re-made with good intentions and with some of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest actors, Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson, and Elizabeth Olsen, to name a few, the movie wasn’t as hard-hitting as it had been when it first appeared on screen. This time it was led by director ‘Spike Lee,’ (Do the Right Thing, Malcom X, Chi-raq) and even with a budget of an enormous $30 million USD only made back $2 million USD at the box-office and although nominated for 4 awards, did not have the pleasure of winning any. 

This inexplicable tale of suffering and rebirth for a man who was trapped and released only to suffer tremendously upon his release; is a clever thought-provoking conspiracy we have to thank the first writers, cast, and crew for. ‘Old Boy’ reminds us that obnoxious behaviour rarely gets us anywhere except in trouble and that sometimes seeking revenge brings us boomerang-like anguish. Whether you watch the 2003 version or the later 2013 version it makes for a warranted night of epic entertainment!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

'La Carmelita'

If you’re in Bordeaux, France, you’re in for a treat if you go to see ‘La Carmelita’. ‘Little Caramel’ is the name of an incredible flamenco group based in the heart of the city. They put on shows from time to time throughout the year and I was ever so lucky to come across this golden opportunity! 

It’s a show filled with passion!

The musicians and singer are expert and delightful, enticing the audience with rhythmic and traditional songs to warm our palate. But the true deliciousness doesn’t begin until ‘La Carmelita’ makes her way on stage. This savory, folk dance which originated in Andalusia, Spain from the VII to the XV centuries and was heavily influenced by the Arab domination of the time, has thankfully continued to bring pleasure to the masses far and wide. Throughout the years, it has evolved to what we know of today - a heavily seductive and hypnotic dance that is largely interpreted and particular by each performance. The virility and skill displayed by ‘Deborah Dawson’ is a marvelous gift to spectators. She is scrupulously devoted to the rapture of the melody and her movements from head to toe are indicative of it.

If you’re looking for an extravagant and steamy night-out, well-worth your money; a night satiated with splendid energy and magnetic pizzazz, then you’re guaranteed to be thrilled with a ‘La Carmelita’ event!

Friday, October 13, 2017