Based on a short story by award-winning Haitian-American writer, Edwidge Danticat, and adapted and to be directed by Easmanie Michel, Caroline’s Wedding, explores the immigrant experience and the struggles of a hard-working Haitian family adjusting to a new life in Brooklyn in the 1990s. Caroline’s Wedding is being produced by NYWIFT members Jane Applegate and Lisa Ehrlich Rapkin.
This contemporary family drama features a strong-willing mother and two devoted sisters in their twenties. Grace, the shy and sensible sister is the backbone of the family. American-born Caroline, the younger sister, loves her family, but resists Haitian traditions and embraces life as a modern, young American woman.
Caroline’s upcoming wedding to Eric, a young African-American janitor Ma does not approve of drives this universal drama. Every parent, no matter what culture they come from, can relate to Ma’s concern that her daughter is settling for the wrong husband. Ma believes that Caroline’s missing forearm, was caused by a drug Ma was forced to take while she was in prison, early in her pregnancy.
Caroline loves her mother, but refuses to break off the engagement to Eric. This leaves Grace to serve as the buffer between Ma’s traditional Haitian values and Caroline’s feisty independence. Ma’s devotion to Haitian beliefs and rituals is a constant source of conflict between her and her daughters and an intriguing part of the story.
Shortly after Grace becomes a citizen, her beloved, deceased father’s spirit appears to her in several magically realistic dream sequences. Grace’s visions of her father, who died years ago, force her to grapple with the conflicts arising from being an immigrant trying to embrace traditional Haitian values at a time when Haitians were being blamed for the AIDs epidemic and other social problems in New York.
The drama builds around Grace’s quest for answers related to her father’s painful decision to divorce Ma and marry Madame Jean-Pierre, a Haitian-American woman who helped her father obtain a green card and eventually bring Ma and Grace to America.
Madame Jean-Pierre wants to be involved in the sisters’ lives but is thwarted by Ma’s jealously and refusal to deal with the past. Over Ma’s objections, Grace finally connects with Madame Jean-Pierre to find the answers she needs to move on.
Stepping out of the shadow of her bolder, younger sister, Grace finally finds a friend in Zack, a local activist protesting the treatment of Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn. His friendship gives her the strength to speak up about her feelings and find her voice.
We plan to shoot the film in a Haitian neighborhood of Brooklyn in 2017. To build awareness and encourage community involvement in the film, we’ve established a cultural advisory board comprised of respected Haitian-American educators and community members.
NYWIFT is our fiscal sponsor. We appreciate your support of this project. For more information about the project please visit: www.carolinesweddingthefilm.com or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Oct. 3, 2016