Make Mine Country

“In the 1940s, the US military built an airbase on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, and brought with them their love of country music. The airbase is long gone, but the country music never left.”

This spare introduction is the only context offered, and the only context necessary, for viewers to understand the elegant simplicity of Make Mine Country. Part cinéma vérité style documentary, part dreamscape, this film is a contemplation on the common humanity of people from vastly different cultures. Played against a background of poverty and disenfranchisement to which even the bluest of country-western balladeers would be hard-pressed to relate, Make Mine Country explores the ways in which the entire population of a distant tropical island has come to embrace the music of rural America. Though the particulars of their circumstances may differ, it quickly becomes clear that despairing hearts know no color. Through glimpses of the lives of a professional country musician, a mother of fourteen, and a gravedigger (among others), we are shown how the folk musical tradition of a western nation has come to have an enormous cultural and spiritual impact on the population of a small Caribbean island. The filmmaker all but silent and invisible, the intimacy of these portraits is transportive, and it is easy to lose yourself in the moment and the music alongside the beautiful people you meet along the way.

Post-screening Q&A with Director Ian Berry, Producer Ted Hurliman, and Editor Jason Rouse.


Monday, August 24