Four generations of divas in ‘It’s a Family Affair’
JAMAICA’S NEWEST featurelength movie – It’s A Family Affair, is blessed with the presence of not three, but four divas, who have earned their respective stripes in the Jamaican entertainment landscape.
Leading the pack is Dahlia Harris who plays Bertha — the ‘fluffy’ wife of a struggling policeman. Her rotundity was never a problem, because she always wore her selfconfidence on her sleeve. When the family is blessed with a financial windfall, she solidifies her status as the matriarch-in-charge. Now in her mid-40s, Harris is in the prime of her career as an actress of stage, screen, and television.
Maya Nzinga, the aspiring model and singer out of New York, is not quite a favourite of Bertha’s – her sister-in-law in waiting. Emprezz Golding wastes no time in demonstrating that she has no intention of playing second fiddle to any other female. Best known as a television personality, Golding, now in her 30s, says her movie acting role is a natural progression.
The most quaint character is Lady Millicent. When she left Jamaica, Millicent was merely a nurse-cum-caregiver for a member of Scottish aristocracy.
When the old man died, she married his son, Lord Timothy. Her acquired accent sits comfortably between crisp cockney and broad Jamaican Patois. Lady Millicent is brought to life by Bertina Macaulay, who recently celebrated her 50th birthday. Best known as the quirky attorney – Stacey Bennett, QC, in Royal Palm Estate, she came to movie prominence in her supporting role in Cool Runnings – the movie about Jamaica’s foray into bobsled racing.
With the script completed, director Lennie Little-White hired Leonie Forbes as his acting coach. Her presence on set sparked an idea which saw Little-White creating a role for her as the marriage officer. Forbes is arguably the Jamaican actress with the widest experience straddling stage, television, radio, and film.
Little-White considers Forbes a good-luck charm as she has appeared in his two previous movies — Children of Babylon and Glory to Gloriana. She also played one of the leads in his television series – Traxx – opposite Oliver Samuels and Volier Johnson.
Some might call Forbes’ role a cameo appearance, but she shines just as brightly as the three junior divas in this new movie. Audiences are sure to have fun watching the four women whose acting careers straddle more than six decades. It’s A Family Affair provides the perfect canvas to expose their collective prowess as four of Jamaica’s best actresses. The 93minute movie is now being shown in Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios by Palace Amusement.
Three of the divas who sparkle in ‘It’s A Family Affair’. From left: Leonie Forbes, Dahlia Harris, and Bertina Macaulay.