Nov. 19, 2005 Arriving at the Diamond Theaters on St. Croix Saturday afternoon didn't feel like one was arriving at an international film festival. The dull parking lot contained only a couple dozen cars and some of those might have belonged to Western Auto customers. There were no crowds milling about. Actually the person selling tickets did not even seem to be all there, devoting his time to talking on his cell phone.
Inside the lobby were a half dozen people, looking, with their film festival T-shirts, like Tourism Department employees.
One of them greeted an arrival who had a schedule in hand with another schedule and saying, "Some changes have been made."
The response of a person who had picked a certain time to see a certain set of movies was, "Oh, that's great."
But all that disappointment left once the reels began to roll. The USVI International Film Festival presented some excellent movies Saturday afternoon.
First was the Terrorist . It snapped with the smart satire of the independent film classic The Next Big Thing ; and it had the hard belly laughs of that other classic The Gods Must Be Crazy . This could have been entitled The Bush Administration Must Be Crazy . It is a tale of a small town where the people are so bored with their seatbelt-safe, suburban existence that they want some excitement so badly that they create a terrorist. The scenes are so funny that quick words here would probably not do them justice. However, the police department going through color samples to see what alert should be posted is part of it and when we hit the Tangerine Alert, everyone knows they are in trouble.
Also presented Saturday afternoon were two human condition enlightening documentaries.
Hearing the synopsis of Waging a Living , a film about the working poor, one might be tempted to say, "I have heard all that before." However, the families, whose struggles are portrayed in this film, are examined with such a compassionate angle, it is well worth viewing. It makes one wonder why the United States government, when it is failing to help so many of its citizens, can find time for foreign misadventures. One of the themes of this documentary is "hustling backwards" it shows the harder some people work the more the government penalizes them.
There are no words to describe the force with which A Killing in Choctaw hits the viewer. It creatively combines old film clips with remembrances of a young man who was severely beaten and then watched his father murdered in1962. A town of bigots let the murderer off and placed the blame on the youngster for not showing proper respect for white people.
Maladaptive , a romantic drama, explores an emotional relationship with more depth than any mainstream movie ever will.
The showings were sparsely attended with only three people at the afternoon showing of Waging a Living . The other movies had about a dozen people attending. It appeared that crowds for the evening movies would be larger. Fifty films were to be shown in the three-day USVI International Film Festival which started on Friday.
The event closes with an awards ceremony and brunch starting at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Carambola Resort.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.