Caribbean Film Series at BAMcinématek
June 6  //  7:30pm

Set in Trinidad, director Maria Govan’s LGBT drama possesses what ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ calls, “primal intensity,” in this tale where religious conservatism and macho patriarchy, combined with denial and sexual suppression, culminates into a passionate reality.
In “Play The Devil,” 18 year-old Gregory (Petrice Jones) is set to graduate and make his family, and rural Trinidad village Paramin, proud that their local boy is headed to medical school. However, Greg secretly desires a life far-removed from his religious upbringing with his loving, yet stern grandmother (Trinidadian theater veteran Penelope Spencer), a life filled with travel and photography.

When successful and handsome older businessman, James Young (Gareth Jenkins), shows an interest, Greg struggles with the reality of his life, and his desires.  And as Greg’s sexual and creative repressions are shed, James’ obsession increases.  Soon, the return of Greg’s shiftless father strains the family’s finances and threatens the young man’s bright future.  As Carnival Monday approaches, when the time comes to dance for the devil and for the devil to get his due, Greg finally faces his demons through an act of pure violence, changing his life forever.

Writer/director Maria Govan proclaims how, “One of the catalysts serving as an inspiration for this story was that of a teenaged boy in Trinidad who committed suicide after his lover threatened to out him to his family.  This was one of those stories that really broke my heart.”  In her early years, Govan, who was deeply moved by the story, herself “struggled with [her] queerness and with just being different, and had [her] own sort of self-destructive path, as result.” Describing what she hopes audiences will take away from the film, Govan asserts, “I wanted to look at what denial does in our lives – denial of our authentic selves and what we regard as our shadow side. I hope the film will move people emotionally – I want them to feel things.”

Also screening is “Antiman” by Guyanese filmmaker Gavin Ramoutar. This poignant short tells the story of a boy who must prove his masculinity to his father while dealing with his attraction to an older boy.

Co-presented by the Caribbean Film Academy, BAMcinématek and the Brooklyn Cinema Collective, both films will screen at BAM Rose Cinemas on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 7:30pm. Maria Govan, her partner and “Play the Devil,” producer Abigail Hadeed, and Gavin Ramoutar, will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. Tickets go on sale May 19th. For more information visit CaribbeanFilm.org.


Stills and full press release can be downloaded via Dropbox.

Websites: CaFA and Brooklyn Cinema Collective