“God Loves The Fighter” Movie Review

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god-loves-the-fighter-poster-alt
When most people think of the beautiful island known as Trinidad their thoughts are filled with fun in the sun, rum and The Greatest Show On Earth, Carnival. While all are accurate assessments, director of the film God Loves The Fighter, Damian Marcano introduces you to the rugged realities of Trinidad’s “underclass.”
Marcano’s God Loves The Fighter depicts life’s most ugly moments as beautiful as possible. Cinematically it draws comparisons to Brazil’s cult classic, City of God and structurally it has parallels to the hit film Crash all while having it’s own unique voice. While many Caribbean films lose their “realness” by not using Caribbean actors it is apparent Marcano’s focus for this film is authenticity. The film has a 100% Trinidadian cast all speaking in their natural colloquialisms and dialects.

 Synopsis:

TRINIDAD – King Curtis, (Lou Lyons) a vagrant on the streets of Port of Spain, is constantly ignored by passersby. He speaks and if he has to – sometimes shouts the truth about the stories behind the newspaper headlines. As the conductor of our story, King Curtis introduces us to a young man named Charlie…

Charlie, (Muhammad Muwakil) a resident east of the lighthouse, is trying his best to stay on the right path. However, with no job in sight, he is finding it hard to say no to other “opportunities”. A chance of redemption presents itself when Dinah, (Jamie Lee Phillips) a professional streetwalker, crosses his path in need of help.

As the story unfolds, King Curtis reveals the ripple effect created by a person’s decision making; leading to moments of triumph and moments of tragedy.

Being of Jamaican descent I can appreciate the similarities and differences between the two cultures in this film. There are parts I wish were more developed and some subplots distract from the overall story making the ending feel sort of rushed. The gritty aesthetic of God Loves The Fighter certainly helps to make up for those distractions. Solid movie, solid cast.

 

Check out the trailer below.

 

 

This screening is part of the Caribbean Film Series, which presents feature films made by Caribbean filmmakers that highlight the richness, uniqueness, and viability of Caribbean cinema to Brooklyn, home to the largest population of Caribbean nationals in the United States, and to all New York City residents and visitors.  For more information visit the Caribbean Film Academy website.

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