March 27, 2017
“Cargo,” written and directed by Kareem Mortimer, had its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival this past weekend. This compelling Bahamian drama opens with bodies washed ashore, portending the tragedies involved in human smuggling. Kevin (an excellent Warren Brown) is a down-on-his-luck and deeply-in-debt white Bahamian fisherman who needs to improve his life. He has an ailing mother and angry wife at home, and his son is about to be thrown out of boarding school for unpaid tuition.
When he gains an opportunity to smuggle immigrants for large sums of cash, Kevin reluctantly accepts the job because he needs the money. After paying off some bills, he starts to breathe a little easier. He also begins an affair with Celianne (Gessica Genues), a Haitian woman who has her own struggles. But as easily as Kevin’s situation improves, it becomes much more precarious.
Mortimer captures the anxiety of class and race issues in The Bahamas by portraying the parallel situations of Kevin and Celianne. Their relationship is the spine of the film, and a sequence when he teaches her to swim is a tender moment as compared with the intense drama that develops around their characters. A native Bahamian, Mortimer spoke with Salon about race, class, morality and making “Cargo.” [...] Read more in Smith & Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’ Issue No. 301.