Four gen­er­a­tions of di­vas in ‘It’s a Fam­ily Af­fair’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SEX & RELATIONSHIPS -

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.

FORBES’ ROLE

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.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

Three of the di­vas who sparkle in ‘It’s A Fam­ily Af­fair’. From left: Leonie Forbes, Dahlia Har­ris, and Bertina Macau­lay.

Em­prezz Gold­ing

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