This review was updated on March 23, 2005
The close-as-brothers friendship between two young men in Guadeloupe tips from casual larceny into real trouble when murder rears its head in “Neg Maron.” Combo of languid environment and social tension is well-portrayed in this sometimes awkward first film by musicvid/commercials director Jean-Claude Flamand that features abundant local color. Starring prominent musicians in lead roles, pic is a good candidate for fests interested in contempo Caribbean culture.
Silex (D. Daly) and Josua (Admiral T), who hail from a low-income neighborhood coveted by developers, agree to break into a fancy house and steal an envelope for white tough guy Marcus (Francois Levantal). But when Marcus is found in his car with a bullet in the head, the friends’ boyish insouciance evaporates. Vet actress-singer Jocelyne Beroard gives a powerful perf as Josua’s no-nonsense mom, highlighting that women, be they girlfriends or mothers, are left out of the loop of masculine joys and problems. Popular recording artists D. Daly and Admiral T make convincing debuts. Film’s title is the historical term applied to the first slave to lead an uprising, but has evolved to connote an urge for freedom in any repressive setting.