Bermuda Docs Announces World Premiere of ‘Poverty in Paradise: The Price We Pay’

Lucinda Spurling

The world premiere of Bermudian documentary filmmaker Lucinda Spurling’s film about poverty in Bermuda will screen in the prime Saturday evening slot at the fourth Bermuda Documentary Film Festival (Bermuda Docs), April 29-May 1.

‘Poverty in Paradise: The Price We Pay’ is a production of the Coalition for the Protection of Children. It will screen on Saturday April 30 at 8.30 p.m. in the Tradewinds Auditorium of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

The film explores the causes and consequences of the widening gap between Bermuda’s wealthy and poor, the struggles that families face in providing for themselves and their children, and the consequential spiral in crime plaguing the community.

“In 2000, 50 per cent of black female-headed households with children were living at or below the poverty line – and increasingly, families are finding it impossible to afford the basic necessities such as rent, food and electricity,” says Sheelagh Cooper, chairperson for the Coalition.

“We have made this film, showing a side of Bermuda that is often hidden away, because we want to transform the assumptions held by many about why particular people live in poverty. The film is very powerful – we hope it will affect the social and political will in Bermuda, transforming the way Bermudians understand their community and influencing the necessary policies to put Bermuda on a more positive and prosperous path for all.”

Spurling, whose previous documentary feature films include St. David’s: An Island Near Bermuda, Rare Bird and The Lion and the Mouse, said the process of making the film had a dramatic impact on her.

“The screening of the film will be a great platform to bring the important message of our film to a local audience,” she says. “More than any other project that I have worked on, it has been a huge learning experience and has opened my eyes to the complexity of our social problems. I encourage everyone who is concerned about the future of Bermuda to see the film at Bermuda Docs.”

Spurling’s film will be preceded by Higher Ground: the Cahow Translocation Project, a 32-minute documentary film produced by the LookBermuda team of J.P. Rouja, Ben Watson and Milton Raposo. The film, part of the organisation’s educational outreach programme, profiles the project — designed by conservation officer Jeremy Madeiros — to protect the future of Bermuda’s national bird.

“I am delighted to screen two films by Bermudian filmmakers,” says Bermuda Docs founder and director, Duncan Hall. “Lucinda’s film is bound to provoke healthy discussion around the issue of poverty, and I am pleased to also support the educational outreach project set up by J.P. and his team. There must not be many places worldwide of Bermuda’s size where there are as many talented filmmakers as we are fortunate to have here.”

The full festival line-up will be announced on Friday April 15 – and tickets will also go on sale that day at, All Wrapped Up Home in Washington Mall, at the Money Shop, Dundonald Street, and at Fabulous Fashions, Heron Bay Plaza, Southampton. Tickets may also be ordered by phoning 232-2255.

Bermuda Docs is presented by Mini, and sponsored by Stella Artois, North Rock Communications Ltd., BELCO, and the Bermuda Arts Council.


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