Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Plot: A group of Haitians are being trafficked via fishing boat to the US from the Bahamas. Things take a dark turn when one of the Haitians becomes ill.
Background: Passage (2013) was written and directed by Bahamian filmmaker Kareem Mortimer and won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Diaspora Short Film. The story would be further expanded in his 2017 feature film Cargo. The inspiration for the film came when he was nine and while watching the news with his mother, he saw haunting images of the bloated bodies of Haitian would-be migrants washed up on a beach.
Review: I watched and reviewed Cargo last year so I was interested to see the short version of it. The events play out similarly but Passage works well as a self-contained story. The cast is also different so you do get different performances. And the performances in Passage are very well done, especially from lead actress Dana J. Ferguson who plays Sandrine. She invests the character with a great deal of humanity and strength, and, despite the high drama of the plot, her acting is believable and never crosses into melodrama.
And there is quite a lot of drama in this 16 minute film. I will not go into spoilers, but I will give kudos to Mortimer for building so much tension and crafting a claustrophobic atmosphere. And the stark opening and closing scenes are quite resonant.
Passage is a powerful short film and an important one for putting a face on victims of human smuggling.
Editor Jules’s Score: 8 out of 10
Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.