Film: 6589

Places + Locations | 1930 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Trinidad in the West Indies

Opens with scenes of mountains and mountainous bay. Scenes of the sun crashing upon a craggy shore. Next follows a scene of a beach with waves lopping up it. In the centre of our view of the beach are two outcrops of rock. Next follows a dark scene of waves lopping up ashore, possibly at night. This is followed by a view of a bay with a palm tree in the foreground framing it. Next is a scene of a figure, wearing a sarong, walking away from the camera along a beach. There follows: A close-up of palm leaves and scenes of palm trees. Then we cut to a scene of the front of the Hotel de Paris, Port of Spain (an impressive building with balcony along its whole length). Two men on bicycles pass one another in front of the hotel and a man walks along the pavement in front. In the next scene, we watch through fancy iron railings (probably those of the hotel balcony), as a car pulls up outside a doorway, a black servant emerges from the doorway and salutes his master who wearing a white suit and a pith helmet, emerges from the car and climbs the steps before entering his house. Cut to servants serving up food to people who are sitting in a garden. There then follows a scene of a man (this time indoors) eating a meal of oysters. There is then a scene of men and women in a 'club' setting taking drinks. Cut to a scene of a woman emerging from an open door. In the foreground are palm leaves. Cut to a scene of a street vendor, carrying a live turtle on his hand. He raises it above his head so that a man in chef's hat can inspect it.

There are then scenes of the 'East Indian' or Hindu population of Trinidad. Then a scene of a female street vendor who passes what seems to be food to a passing Indian man. Then a scene of an elderly artisan and his goat. He is making silver wire for jewellery. Cut to various scenes of jungle. These culminate in a scene of a waterfall and a pool with two 'natives' sitting by it. After a brief scene of jungle covered hills, a scene follows of a sugar plantation with two men, wearing sarongs, working. Then follows a scene of the outside of a 'Hindu' woman grinding corn as her daughter sifts it outside their house. Her son walks towards them from the sugar cane field, squats and cleans himself, before going inside with his sister and emerging with water carried between them. Then a scene of a woman grinding grain on a stone. Close-up of what she is doing as a chick steals some of her grain. Next is a scene of a woman and a small girl working a 'rice mill'. A scene of two men outside their house follows. A woman hands one of them a coconut and he cuts the end off it. We then see him and the other man drinking from coconuts as the woman sits and watches. Cut to a scene of a huge banana plantation which looks like a palm forest. Then there follows a scene of a fisherman (see through a frame of palm leaves) with his book. Then a distant view of a fisherman carrying something along the shore. A close-up of a fisherman making a basket-like fish trap. A scene of a man mending a boat sail. Cut to scenes of 'Afro-Caribbean' men 'fighting' with sticks, acrobats and a man walking on hot coals (all part of the Mohammedan Hojen (?) festival. There are then scenes of a carnival procession (part of the festival). The crowd holds what the commentator, I think, says are cardboard 'temples' called 'Targyar' (?). They represent the tomb of Hojen.

We then see two men who sit in front of a fire and beat drums. A woman and a man praying. Scene of men drumming and a man with cymbals. Still of one of the cardboard temples. Then a scene of a man praying in front of a cardboard temple. He is watched by men and boys. A scene of a woman lighting incense at a street shrine follows. This is followed by a scene of the hands of some of the drummers. We end with a scene of the wreckage of one of the cardboard temples which has been thrown into the sea.


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