The West Indies at War is a four part television series that tells the little known story of soldiers from the West Indies who fought and died in World War One. Many of these valiant men were not allowed to enlist because of their race. After months of struggle and with a steadily rising death toll on battlefields across the world, the men of the Caribbean were finally allowed into the fray. During the war, the men experienced discrimination at the hands of their white counterparts and were forced into menial labour roles. Upon their return to the Caribbean, the embittered soldiers, led by Arthur Cipriani, Uriah Butler and Norman Manley, banded together and rallied the masses against their colonial oppressors for the right to vote and appoint local men onto the Legislative Council. The First World War shook everything up.
The West Indies at War was produced and directed by award winning filmmaker, Mariel Brown, whose documentary, ‘Inward Hunger: The Story of Eric Williams’ won the 2011 prize for Best Local Feature Film at the trinidad+tobago film festival. The story is told through rare archival footage and photographs, woven together with interviews from leading Caribbean historians, journalists and writers including Professors Brinsley Samaroo and Bridget Brereton, journalist Judy Raymond and award-winning writers Oliver Senior and Lawrence Scott. The series also features a moving original music score by Trinidad & Tobago composer, Francesco Emmanuel.