(director/writer: Monica Sorelle; screenwriter: Robert Colom; cinematographer: Javier Labrador Deulofeu; editor: Jonathan Cuartas; music: Dyani Douze; cast: Atibon Nazaire (Xavier), Sheila Anozier (Esperance), Chris Renois (Junior); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert Colom; Filmes Conéme; 2023-in Creole, English, Spanish)
“A touching and decent family drama, that’s well-conceived.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Haitian-American Monica Sorelle directs her feature film debut and co-writes it with the producer Robert Colom.
It opens with the Haitian proverb “Beyond every mountain, there’s another mountain.”
In the Little Haiti section of Miami, a working-class Haitian family deals with changes in their community such as gentrification pushing out longtime residents. Developers and real estate people found the area to be a good spot to sell dream properties and have been active there.
Xavier (Atibon Nazaire) is a demolition worker for a construction crew, who resides in that Haitian immigrant area. He lives there with his seamstress and crossing guard wife Esperance (Sheila Anozier) and their parking valet and aspiring stand-up comedian adult son Junior (Chris Renois). They moved to Miami from Brooklyn in 1973.
Xavier tries talking his anxious wife into buying a bigger house in the community, as she’s not sure if they have enough money to afford such an upgrade. The film revolves on how they change with their community in flux. There are also many subplots such as Xavier dealing with his white boss’s racism, his wealthier brother-in-law putting on airs and Junior’s struggles to be independent.
It’s a touching and decent family drama, that’s well-conceived.
It played at the Tribeca Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 9/21/2023 GRADE: B