Deep Blue

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(A review)

We here at Observer NEWSCO, certainly wish to salute Howard and Mitzi Allen, they of HAMA Films, as well as the entire cast, and the other distinguished names listed in the credits, as well as all the sponsors, for the absolutely delightful and inspiring premiere of the thought-provoking, Deep Blue. May all those who were involved, continue their wonderful and timely work in the cause of protecting our environment from destructive development.

As you may have already guessed, the theme of Deep Blue is that Mother Nature, our beautiful and precious, albeit fragile ecosystem, ought not to be sacrificed on the altar of development. Another important theme is that many of our political leaders are blinded to the noble cause of preserving the environment by their greedy and grasping proclivities. They are in the pockets of unscrupulous investors. They can be easily bought, and to hell with the environment. And of course, a major theme is that we all must get involved on behalf of this lovely island of ours. We all have a part to play. We must step up in a big way to fight against environmental rape and pillage and plunder.

Deep Blue begins with stunning vistas of our enchanting seascape at a fictional area called Parrot Bay. Indeed, so wondrous is the cinematography/photography of the ocean, the vegetation and the hillsides, that we cannot help but fall in love all over again with this blessed bit of Paradise, where land and sea make beauty.

Sadly, on account of wilful and wanton damage to the environment, the fishermen in the opening scene pull up their fish-pots, only to discover that they are empty. One fisherman remarks ruefully, “We ain’t catchin nuthin’ around here.”  The film highlights the importance of our mangroves, not just for the tourists and our marine life, but for ourselves. (There is wonderful footage of the frigate birds in the lagoon in Barbuda. Gorgeous and breathtaking images – the great natural scenes of Antigua and Barbuda – the coral, the birds and the bees . . .)

Anyway, there is a sneaky and conniving politician (played by noted actor, Dr Alvin Edwards) who is all about himself and his own (pardon the similarity) “creative self-enrichment.” (any similarity to person or persons is purely coincidental). We cringe when we see the bulldozers grading trees, and we are outraged when we hear the self-serving politician callously remark that “The trees will be replanted,” and the investor (Played by Tom Pritchard, a UK actor with a role in THE CROWN on Netflix, among other feature roles) saying that “Mother Nature does not always get it right,” and they are “going to make the place look nice.” Sigh! We are even more outraged when we hear them agree that they won’t tell the people about some of their grander development plans “just yet.” The idea is to lull the people to sleep, and expand the development incrementally. They’re talking about environmentally dangerous plans like building a golf course on the coastline.  

Kublai Mannix reprises his real-life role as an activist and a fisherman, making an impassioned plea for the environment. He declares that the more the developers build, the more problems they’ll cause.  He bemoans the silt and the other environmentally harmful substances in our ocean, and he sounds a warning knell for our coral reefs, if we continue with our profligate ways. Of course, this is notwithstanding the reluctance of some of the young boys in the area to hand out environmental- conscious brochures, and in other ways, to get involved.  And never mind those selfish citizens who are willing to put monetary gain above all else. Good grief! We look at them with disgust.

 A dedicated environmental activist (Played by Julie Hewlett, an Antiguan who once resided in Canada), makes a rousing plea for sustainable development, responsible use of our environment. She declares, “For centuries, we have taken from Mother Nature, it is time for us to give back.” And yes, with great appreciation, we see the dedicated Rastafari of Ras Freeman, with Ras Kiyode Erasto as a thoughtful elder in the Faith, intervene in a town hall meeting where the disingenuous investor tries to sweet-talk and hoodwink the people. The Rastafari chant and dance. They partake of the holy sacrament (chuckle), and Empress Mama Sheba (her name in the Faith) declares that these developers are “the architects of poverty and slavery.” She tells those who are in favour of the project, “You have come here to sell-off your children’s future . . . where Paradise becomes merchandise?” And the Faithful put an exclamation point on her fervent exhortation by chanting, “Jah, Rastafari!” It is as if they are invoking the assistance of the Almighty in this sordid development affair. Just imagine, part of the developer’s plan is to uproot the Ras Freeman Rastafari  (great stewards of the environment) from their commune, by lying to them and telling them that “the area is no longer safe,” again, to make way for his development shenanigans. 

Mercifully, the people are persuaded to do the right thing, never mind the arrogance and pig-headedness of the politician. When the architect of the development scheme (Played by Peter Williams, a noted actor from Jamaica, best known for his major role in STARGATE SG1) tells him that he is giving up his position with the diabolical developer in the interest of the environment, the politician angrily berates him with the words, “I gave you this job, and I will tell you when it’s done. . . . All the benefits are what’s in it for you . . . forget about those rabble-rouser, they will choose money over misery. . . .” The politician rants and raves, but nobody is listening.

After a heartbreaking tragedy (which we shall not reveal), the people rejoice and applaud their activism. They unfurl an inspiring banner and march, even as the stirring sounds of a great piece declares, “Earth matters! We should never give up the fight!” Indeed!

Again, we applaud HAMA Films for this five-star piece of work. This is their magnum opus, and all Antiguans and Barbudans should make it a point to attend a screening. It will motivate you.

      We invite you to visit and give us your feedback on our opinions.

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