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Cabral presents jail drama at its best

Saturday, September 23, 2017
Carpinteros (Woodpeckers) is a compelling jail drama.

The 2017 T&T Film Festival runs until September 26 at MovieTowne Port-of-Spain, San Fernando & Tobago and at the UWI.

Film writer BC Pires, will be picking a Film of the Day, every day. Pires sat on the first TT Film Fest Jury, 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:

Carpinteros aka Woodpeckers (2017, Dominican Republic)

Director: Jose Maria Cabral

Genre: Prison Drama

Running time: 106 mins

Screens: 9 pm, Screen 7, MovieTowne, POS. TT premiere.

Even if all the filmmakers did was set up a few cameras in odd corners and press “record”, and then edited a day’s worth of footage to feature length, even without any story to it at all, Jose Maria Cabral’s Carpinteros would be compelling; turn it into a prison drama and it becomes captivating from the first frame to the last.

Filmed in the DR’s Najayo Prison Complex, with real inmates constituting the extras and the real prison, the set, even the most widely-experienced cinefile would be taken by the project itself as cinema. If every other shot was worthless, the entire film would be made worthwhile by what might be the best tracking shot in film since Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend, in which the camera, reverses in front of him as he walks, to keep the male lead in centre frame as he descends into the bowels of the prison and the devastating complexities of life.

This is a film for film students. The revelation of the meaning of the film’s title is wonderful, too, even if the viewer knows it beforehand. Just for its celebration of life and love and the joy of human connection in the worst conditions imaginable makes Carpinteros a contender for this year’s best film at the T&T Film Festival. It has to be said that the most dramatic moment of the climax is a titch rough but, even then, you can understand why the director chose those cuts. A standout and not to be missed.

Also consider: *A Caribbean Dream, 11 am Screen 8, MovieTowne POS; Visibly Me, 6 pm MovieTowne San Fernando.



10.30 am - Carl’s Present 17 mins + Bad Lucky Goat 76 mins

1 pm - Entre Deux Rives (Between Two Shores) 60 mins + Where Have our Trees Gone? 58 mins

3.30 pm - Rapatriation 2 mins + Féfé Limbe 28 mins + Gang of the Antilles 90 mins Q&A

6 pm - One Decision 3 mins Q&A + Cargo 105 mins Q&A

8.30 pm - Come Out Come Out 12 mins + Q&A + Carpinteros (Woodpeckers) 108 mins


10.30 am - Roots 10 mins + A Caribbean Dream 82 mins Q&A

1 pm - Tourments d’amour 48 mins + El Techo (On the Roof) 75’ Q&A

3.30 pm - Homeless 24 7 mins + Felicite 123 mins

6.30 pm JAFTA PROPELLA 2017 60 mins + Q&A

8.30 pm - Visibly Me 11 mins + Moko Jumbie 94 mins Q&A


10.30 am - Paddlin’ Spirit 30 mins + Sound of Silence 87 mins

1 pm - It Still Haunts Me 9 mins + Dear Jane 15 mins + Flower 15 mins + Padlock 18 mins + I Wish I Were my Girlfriend’s Cellphone 32 mins

3.30 pm - A Broken Appt 2 mins + Snapshot Kingston 4 mins + How to Kill a Fish 10 mins + Shashamane 80 mins

6 pm - Adero 13 mins + La Soledad 90 mins

8.30 pm - Unbound 30 mins + Vientos de Havana 95 mins


1 pm - Wetlands and Us 25 mins Q&A + To Be a Renegade 45 mins

3.30 pm - Kafou (Crossroad) 48 mins + Kingston Crossroads 72 mins

6 pm - E Yobida di Ayera (Yesterday’s Rain) 10 mins + Extre Terrestres 113 mins

8.30 pm - Dream 5 mins Q&A + Children of the Mountain 105 mins


1 pm - Invisi bill 10 mins + Just Cheer Up 19 mins + A Dark Horror 10 mins + Culture Consciousness 19 mins + In Frame 28 mins + Sorf Hair 24 mins+ Q&A

5 pm - A Broken Appt 2 mins + Snapshot Kingston 4 mins + How to Kill a Fish 10 mins + Shashamane 80 mins

7 pm - It Still Haunts Me 9 mins + Time to Die 10 mins + Finding Dowry 20 mins + Back to Freeport 105 mins Q&A


Feminist Cinema: 5 pm - La Matamoros 60 mins + Q&A

Feminist Cinema: 7 pm - Choco 80 mins


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