Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Plot: On the run from a vigilante mob, a gunman seeks refuge in a neighbourhood church.
Context: 2012 drama short Sunday is written and directed by Kyle Chin, who I know pretty well as were both on the same hall (Irvine Hall is the best) at University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica at the same time. Big up yourself my brethren. After UWI he attended Los Angeles Film School where he studied the art of filmmaking. Upon returning to Jamaica he was invited to join New Caribbean Cinema; an association of young, up and coming filmmakers with a desire to create communal films with a Caribbean perspective (Studio Anansi). New Caribbean Cinema was co-founded by Michelle Serieux (Sugar) and Storm Saulter (Sprinter), and Chin began his career behind the scenes of feature films Better Mus’ Come and Candy Shop where he first worked with directors Saulter and Joel Burke respectively. Sunday is one of seven short films by six directors featured in the 2012 anthology film Ring Di Alarm which was created by New Caribbean Cinema. On the short, Saulter is credited as executive producer, co-editor with Chin as well as director of photography. Chin’s other films are Kingston House, Mango Wars and Off-Guard (imdb.com).
Review: The plot of Sunday is a simple one. A gunman named Randy (Ricardo “Flames” Orgill) on the run from a bloodthirsty vigilante mob runs into a small church. There he encounters the kindly Reverend Brown (Winston “Bello” Bell). Will the pastor turn him into the mob or the police? Or will he try to save him, body and soul? I’m not going to get into spoilers so you’ll just have to watch it yourself (I’ll link it for you below). I will say that what is here works for me. Orgill does well as the desperate, end-of-his rope criminal still clinging to a rapidly unravelling thread of power and control. As a viewer you may pivot from despising Randy to feeling sorry for him to despising him again. Where you land on him at the end is really up to you. Bell, former comedian, veteran actor (Third World Cop, One Love) and real life pastor brings a believability and a humanity to his role. There are other actors in small roles but it is mainly these two carrying the film, and they carry it well.
Another strong aspect of the film is the continual sense of tension. It is so thick in the atmosphere you can almost taste it and it adds a sense of urgency to all the proceedings. This tension was also heightened by the tight, almost claustrophobic cinematography which makes you feel as trapped and hunted as Randy. I was riveted scene by scene to see what would happen next. The themes are ones that have been explored in cinema both Caribbean and beyond, but feel fresh enough and never come off as preachy, despite including a preacher as a main character. And I thought the ending (which, again, I will not spoil) was well done. So on whatever day you may be reading this, I suggest you take time to enjoy Sunday.
Editor Jules’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
You can watch Sunday for yourself on Studio Anansi by clicking here. And you can check out more great Jamaican content below:
Julien “Editor 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”. Read more.