Documentary film showcases Cayman’s capital

Filmmaker presents 26 copies to George Town Public Library

A documentary highlighting the sights and sounds of George Town has been presented to the public library. 

“Villes Des Iles – Cities of the Caribbean” is the work of Martinique-based independent producer Patrick Baucelin. 

Mr. Baucelin directs and produces documentary films mainly aimed at highlighting the cultural heritage of his country and capital cities in other Caribbean islands. 

The film showcases such historical sites as the peace memorial with its clock tower paying homage to King Henry V, the aspiration statue dedicated to the women of the Cayman Islands, a mural highlighting 500 years of Cayman’s history, the downtown library, churches, the governor’s residence and architecture. 

Mr. Baucelin wants to raises awareness of inhabitants about their neighboring Caribbean islanders, whether English, Spanish, French or Dutch. He says island populations have largely ignored each other, despite being so geographically close.  

This week, the filmmaker presented 26 copies of the DVD to Ramona Melody, director of public libraries, to be distributed to schools, libraries, public administrations and tourists boards around Cayman. 

Mr. Baucelin has made 5,000 copies of the documentary film, which will be distributed free to the islands featured in it. 

“The library is excited to have these educational DVDs,” said Ms. Melody. “It provides information about Cayman’s similarity to other Caribbean islands but also what makes us distinct.  

“We have people coming from these islands to reside in Cayman, and having the DVD in the libraries will allow people the opportunity learn more about our culture and their cultural similarities and differences,” she said. 

She noted the many languages and cultural distinctions of the various islands depicted in the DVD. Some countries were shown in a mystical haze with towering mountains, while others featured traditions of carnivals, religion and sea and sun.  

“Seeing the DVD, I am sure people will want to visit some of these islands,” she said. 

Mr. Baucelin said every island is distinct, noting Cayman’s capital is very touristy and clean. He said that Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, is like an open-air museum currently being restored, while Haiti, tested by adversity, is bustling with intense activity. 

“All islands and people are different,” he said. “The women in Puerto Rico are very beautiful. Trinidad’s carnival is wonderful, the food is different, but what really makes the islands in the Caribbean really stand out is sun, beach and coconut trees,” he said. 

Working on the documentary for the past four years, Mr. Baucelin was assisted by European funding along with personal money to complete the film. 

To promote the film in Cayman, the library will feature the documentary from August to early September. 

The new documentary follows up on Mr. Baucelin’s award-winning 2012 documentary, “Secrets of the Fortresses of the Caribbean”. 

Patrick-Baucelin

Patrick Baucelin, documentary producer, center, presents DVDs of his most recent film to Ramona Melody and Paul Robinson at the library. – Photo: Jewel Levy

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