Panama  Dreams transports  us  on  the  modern-day  search  of  filmmaker,  Alison Saunders  for  descendants  of  an  ancestor who  left  Barbados  in  the  early  1900s  as  a  labourer among  over  40,000  from  that  tiny  island  and  the  single largest  group  officially  recruited  by  the  US  Government  to build  the  Panama  Canal    one  of  the  seven wonders  of  the  modern  world.  This documentary with extensive dramatic sequences provides a unique insight into the Caribbean’s biggest migration that eclipses even the “Windrush” migration to the  UK  in scale and global impact.  Over  150,000  West Indians went to Panama mainly as labourers but also in a variety of ancillary roles during the  US phase of construction that mirrored their Southern  Jim  Crow System in terms of discrimination and oppression.  Thousands lost their lives and after construction, many stayed on while others went back home or on to Cuba,  the US and other parts of Latin  America.  Panama Dreams explores the impact on those left behind in the West Indies as well as the lives of the descendants of these workers in Panama and Cuba, who are an almost unknown diaspora of the  West Indies to this day.  After fating compelling re-enactments and collecting archival film and photos as well as contemporary images and interviews, the filmmaker tells a larger,  poignant  story of strength,  endurance,  and  sacrifice and uncovers troubling and complex issues of race, class and power that face descendants to the present day.

Filmmaker Bio


Alison Saunders, a Trinidadian/Barbadian, is the writer/director/executive producer of Hit For Six!, shot in Barbados and Trinidad. The first film commercially exported from Barbados, it was shown around the world and listed among the Top Ten Movies Based on Cricket by IMDB. Saunders also created, directed and produced the reality show for entrepreneurs Bank on ME, shown in Barbados, the region and North America. She is currently producing a TV series on a home makeover for a deserving family.

Rating: General Audience


TUESDAY  Jan 15, 2019

5:30 PM     PANAMA DREAMS (Talk Back with director Alison Saunders)

Walled Garden Theatre


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