St. John USVI: St. John Film Society Press Release:

The ultimate goal of the St John Film Society is to establish an annual Independent Film Festival on St John. The monthly film series is our first effort toward that goal. We hope to bring attention to the rich cultural diversity and unique voice of the Virgin Islands as we share our stories through film. While our monthly screenings are free to the public, we welcome donations to help us achieve these goals. We are currently raising funds to purchase the following items: projector, screen, DVD deck.

Additionally, we are looking for volunteers to help us with the following tasks: tech support, graphic design, film recommendations.

Our free film series will continue at Sputnik on the first Tuesday of every month.

The presentation will begin at 7:00 PM. All are encouraged to bring a folding chair and arrive early for better seating.

Until further notice, Cruz Bay screenings will be held on special occasions, to be determined.

For more information, visit our website:

March 3rd – Global Economy and the Developing World
A documentary by Stephanie Black; narrated by Jamaica Kincaid (80 min.)
“If you come to Jamaica as a tourist, this is what you will see…” This award winning feature length documentary, screened at the 2001 Human Rights Watch Film Festival, explores the complexity of international lending and free trade in the developing world. It focuses on individual Jamaicans who struggle to survive amid US and multinational economic agendas.

Jamaica Kincaid’s narration is based on her nonfiction book, “A Small Place.”

As the film begins, she contrasts what the visitor to Jamaica sees with what is kept hidden, and her voice is coolly alluring as she says, “When you sit down to eat your delicious meal, it’s better that you don’t know that most of what you are eating came off a ship from Miami.”

Michael Manley, Jamaica’s former prime minister, was interviewed for the film. He speaks openly yet sadly about mistakes his administration made that led to the devastation of the country’s economy. The film outlines the path of economic decline after the first International Money Fund loan that was meant to improve development yet resulted in increased debt and dependency. It visits the Free Trade Zone with its deplorable working conditions, where workers are paid US $30 a week.

“…the overall impression left by this devastating film is of the global economy as a dog-eat-dog world where the usual culprits, the United States and its multinational corporate clients, have the advantage.” – New York Times

Followed By 10 Min Clip From Related Film

A lesson in the history of the banana: its production, transportation and challenges. This lighthearted film stands in stark contrast to the devastation of
Jamaica’s banana industry depicted in “Life and Debt.”

April 7th – A Celebration of Garifuna Culture
A documentary by local filmmaker and St John Film Society founder Andrea Leland (46 min)

“…captures the triumph of spirit of the Garifuna people.”

This film, made with the cooperation and participation of the Garifuna people, celebrates the enduring spirit of the descendants of the African and Carib-Indian inhabitants of the Caribbean. The Garifunas’ determination to keep their culture alive led to their being exiled from St Vincent to Belize by the British at the end of the eighteenth century.

Told in the voices of the Garifuna themselves, the film is engaging and colorful. It is an encouraging testament to a society’s ability to keep its music and spirituality alive amid the threats of the encroaching bigger world.

“…a vital step in archiving the rich culture and fascinating trajectory of the Garifuna of Belize. The video is a prime model for the use of the moving image
in preserving living culture.” – Huntington International Independent Film Festival

Followed By Clip From Related Film

A documentary by Oliver N Greene, Jr. (46 min)
A look at the Garifuna wanaragua ritual, known as Jankunú. The dances, with their distinctive costumes and music, are a blend of African, European, Arawak

and Carib traditions. Includes interviews with Garifuna singers, drummers and dancers who echo the value of the ritual to their culture.

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