THE FILM: Derek Walcott, the landscape painter, the avant-garde theatre director, the utterly devoted son of St. Lucia? These are just a few of the many dimensions of the Nobel-Prize-winning literary stalwart that viewers discover while taking in Derek Walcott, an insightful and revelatory documentary feature that screened to a warm reception at the Jamaica Film Festival last week. In pulling back the layers of this multi-faceted global icon, filmmaker Ida Does paints us a compelling portrait of a man whose profound intellect and way of seeing epitomizes the idea of the Caribean visionary. [A-] Running Time: 1hr. 19 mins.
THE BOOK: Every so often you come across the title and blurb of a brand-new release that's so engrossing it immediately earns a place among the pile of "future must-reads". As far as the TALLAWAH bookshelf goes, the latest of the lot is Undivided: A Muslim Daughter, Her Christian Mother and Their Path to Peace (Thomas Nelson Publishers), in which mother-daughter duo Patricia and Alana Raybon attempt to make sense of the hoopla surrounding Christianity and Islam, using their personal histories as testimony in shedding light on a divisive issue. At their heart of their shared narrative, the synopsis informs us, readers will discover how Alana (the daughter) discovers "her truth" upon converting to Islam and how mom Patricia turns to the principles of Christianity to better understand her daughter's decision.
THE ALBUM: Ten songs capturing the pride and passion, highs and lows of island life, the 2015 Jamaica Festival Song album is a jubilant mix that puts you in the mood to dance and reflect. There is no shortage of highlights. Especially hard to resist are tracks like the irrepessible numbers "Celebration Time" by Ancient Priest (the winning entry) and "Likkle But Wi Tallawah" by Nazzle Man, which secured the runner-up spot. The two women who made the final cut are not be outshone. While Princess Black harks back to a golden era on "Sweet Festival Sound", Marsha-Marie Campbell supplies tuneful melodies and irie reverie on "Inna Jamdown." Meanwhile, such veteran melody-makers as Mackie Conscious ("This is Paradise") and Scenta ("Tell You 'Bout Yard) make their own solid contributions to the album, which is an ideal collector's item for Jamaican culture lovers, especially if you're in the market for keepsakes commemorating Emancipendence 53.