mon 20/05/2024

Caribbean

Our Mothers review - revisiting the horrors of Guatemala's civil war

Director Cesar Diaz’s debut feature film was made on a modest budget and confines its running time to a crisp 78 minutes, but its impact is like being hit over the head with a sandbag. We frequently hear the word “genocide” being bandied about, but...

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The Big Life, Stratford East review - musical brings the joy and honours the past

Is there a healthier sound than that of laughter ringing round a theatre? There are plenty of opportunities to test that theory in Tinuke Craig’s riotous revival of The Big Life, two decades on from its first run at this very venue. Much has...

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Bob Marley: One Love review - sanitised official version of the Jamaican icon's story

It was only a matter of time before Bob Marley got his own posthumous biopic, and One Love isn’t the worst you’ll see. For instance, it’s miles ahead of the Elton John flick Rocketman, and at least it’s an hour shorter than Baz Luhrmann’s bloated...

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Ishion Hutchinson: School of Instructions review - learning against estrangement

School of Instructions, a book-length poem composed of six sections, is a virtuosic dance between memory and forgetting, distant tragedy and personal grief. At times, Hutchinson’s language perhaps forgets itself in its own excess. His lines are...

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Meetings, Orange Tree Theatre review - three-hander that chews on big issues

Mustapha Matura’s 1981 play, Meetings, is still a knockout. Supply the characters with mobile phones and it could be set in the present day. What makes it topical is the central issue it chews on: is the modern world all it’s cracked up to be,...

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Glory to Sound: Linton Kwesi Johnson, Brighton Festival 2023 review - a reggae rebel's life in music

Straight-backed at 70, Linton Kwesi Johnson wears the smart garb of a British Caribbean elder – trilby, cream jacket, West Indies maroon jumper and tie, grey trousers, blue socks and grey shoes. His voice has resonant, slow-rolling authority...

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Marys Seacole, Donmar Warehouse review - frustrating yet unflinching

Inspiration jostles irritation in Marys Seacole, Jackie Sibblies Drury's Off Broadway hit from 2019 that has arrived at the Donmar as part of a banner season of late for Black American writing in the capital (cf. "Daddy": A Melodrama at the Almeida...

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Rebel Dread review - generous documentary portrait of punk-reggae legend Don Letts

Don Letts, the film director, musician and DJ responsible for so many of the iconic images of punk and reggae artists, executive produced this documentary portrait. The result is a warm and generous chronicle that occasionally veers on the...

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Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson, BBC Two review - ambitious history of the slave trade falls short

Enlisting Hollywood giant Samuel L Jackson to host a series about the history of slavery, his own ancestors having been trafficked from West Africa to the Americas, was a headline-grabbing move, and scenes where we travelled with Jackson to the...

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Sudhir Hazareesingh: Black Spartacus review – the life, and thought, of the first black super-hero

The former slave, and coachman on a sugar plantation, began one of his early public proclamations in a typically defiant vein: “I am Toussaint Louverture, you have perhaps heard my name.” At that point, in 1793, almost everyone in the French...

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Hamilton, Disney+ review - puts us all in the room where it happened

The movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights was meant to hit cinemas this summer, but, in response to Covid-19, has been put back to 2021. Instead, we get the early release on Disney+ of Miranda’s Hamilton – filmed, NT Live style,...

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Peter Doig, Michael Werner review - ambiguous and excellent

There are two moons in Night Bathers, 2019 (pictured below) One is set in the sky, a great soupy plate with a greenish fringe creating an ugly smear of white across the night. The other is a treacherously hazy rectangle, floating like a cloud above...

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