Giulio Gobbetti and Jan Stöckel have clearly fallen for the Montserrat Mystique that the Beach Boys sang about decades ago.
In their 45-minute documentary No Island Like Home they take us into the lives of some of Montserrat’s most visible members and some we may not know.
Just as in the feature Wendy, the island of Montserrat plays the starring role. Each segment often begins with a postcard-like visual of the island empty of movement and people. When they introduce bodies, they seem not to disturb the space but enhance it and use it as we all do to live our life in our way.
Calypsonian Herman “Cupid” Francis provides the soundtrack for the film. We also hear him tell us about the time he almost considered leaving. We meet other residents and hear a little of why they are here and love the island. We also get to see a car race in Cork Hill.
One jarring moment for a few viewers at the Sunday screening was when we follow Immortal Don (Ziki) and Tahj Hurtault as they take their bull dogs out to hunt for goats to kill. While we don’t see the actual attack we hear it and the animal’s distress. We then see the goat hung and slain. It is the reality of how much of the meat we eat in the national dish is obtained but you never think about it until you hear and witness that scene.
Some viewers expressed that the short film lacked a narrator. Again, if you look at it through traditional storytelling then it will be missed. However, I liked that the visuals and the selection of music and brief stories or as in the case of Rose Willock and JGP, we hear them live on radio doing their thing and we understand this is the narrative…it is how they experience this island and why it is home.
The film heads to the North Pole next for a screening. We hope it will make them as warm as it made me seeing elements such as a Catholic church service and the St. Patrick’s Festival parade which we will be without this year in beautiful living colour.