Mirror To The Soul is a new documentary film about the Caribbean, which is made up entirely of footage from British Pathé newsreels that were filmed during the period 1922-1970. The film presents many aspects of Caribbean life – from banana plantations to Voodoo ceremonies, Calypsonians to revolutionaries. As well as an insight into aspects of West Indian life, the film also allows us to see how a private British film company presented a constructed Caribbean identity to the outside world. Consequently the film tells us as much about British society and its own identity and values – especially in regard to attitudes towards its then colonies – as it does those of the Caribbean itself.
The relationship between the Caribbean and Britain is also explored through items and footage of the onward diaspora of West Indians to the ‘motherland’, including the arrival of Windrush in 1948, racial troubles and more. The film is not just limited to the relationship between Britain and the Caribbean, documenting the changing relationship between a number of islands and their protectors or enemies – such as, for instance, Cuba and the USA – with footage from the Cuban revolution onwards. Similarly the scope of the film includes footage of Venezuela, Belize, Colombia and Florida, USA – which form the wider Caribbean region, rather than just the West Indies islands themselves.
This screening will be introduced by Feel Good Film creator and BBC Radio Derby DJ Devon Daley.