Winner: Best Local Feature Film, Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival 2012
Inward Hunger is a documentary on the life of Dr. Eric Eustace Williams, the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. This groundbreaking documentary was produced in recognition of the 100th Anniversary of Williams’ birth on September 25th, 2011. It consists of three episodes, each running for approx. 1 hour. Episode 1, Great Expectations, follows Williams from his birth in the British West Indies in 1911 to his dramatic entry into politics in 1955 as he “Let down his bucket” in Woodford Square, Trinidad. Episode 2, Movement of the People, begins with the emergence of Williams and the PNM as a political force, and the roller-coaster of events that formed part of the West Indies’s struggle for independence, which came to a head for Trinidad and Tobago in 1962. Episode 3, Power, covers Williams’ public and private life as the leader of a young nation full of expectations, divisions and upheavals, leading up to the dramatic circumstances surrounding his death.
The series explores both the political and personal life of Eric Williams, in order to understand the multiple sides of his complex and enigmatic character. It is the first documentary series to delve into the character and life of Williams in such depth and from a variety of perspectives. The documentary goes beyond “Williams as Prime Minister” to examine the diverse facets of Williams’ personality, ideas and behaviour as eldest son in a large family, student, historian, writer and educator, husband and father, friend, professor, international civil servant, and Party leader. This portrait of Williams reveals the aspects of his family and school life that shaped his personality and perspectives from childhood; his understanding of colonial society and his uneasy place in it, having won access to an elite colonial education, yet facing financial hardship throughout his youth, and a pervasive sense of discrimination; his charisma and public persona as a father-figure, a saviour, a domineering and eventually distant leader; his privacy and intensity in close/intimate relationships; his mentors and the sometimes traumatic breaks with them; his career as an educator in the classroom and in the public sphere; his fight with the Caribbean Commission and entry into politics; his dominating leadership style and charismatic, yet changeable political personality; his vision for an independent society – his reforms and social transformation, hesitancy to change the status quo, the deep loyalty and strong opposition he engendered from within the Party he created and the wider society.
Williams is a highly controversial figure in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean – revered in some quarters, vilified in others. This series attempts an honest exploration of both his strengths and weaknesses, his successes and failures, his private and public lives. The documentary draws on a wealth of written and audio-visual material on and by Dr. Eric Williams, including rarely seen archival footage of Trinidad and Tobago in the 1950s and 60s. In addition, the series draws on extensive research on Williams published by scholars such as Prof. Colin Palmer, Prof. Selwyn Ryan and Prof. Ken Boodhoo. The narration is carried by the powerful voice of Nigel Scott, while Williams’ voice and the voices of other characters in the series are brought to life by renowned actor Albert Laveau and emerging talent Catherine Emmanuel. Calypsos craft a musical storyline, offering an everyday man’s commentary on Williams at each step of his journey in public office. And Francesco Emmanuel’s original score weaves through the series, connecting music, voice and image.
Diverse perspectives on Williams come through original interviews with journalists, writers, historians, revolutionaries, family members and former politicians and associates of Williams. This pioneering documentary series reveals Eric Williams in unprecedented breadth and depth, in the context of the history, society, region and world that shaped him, the forces to which he at times succumbed, and those he fought to change.
Featuring Interviews with Professors Bridget Brereton, Selwyn Ryan, Rhoda Reddock, Ken Boodhoo, Colin Palmer, Pat Mohammed, Brinsley Samaroo; family members Erica Williams-Connell, Peggy and Patsy Gittens; writers Raoul Pantin, Earl Lovelace and Raffique Shah; activist Khafra Kambon and many others.
Credits Producer/ Director: Mariel Brown; Writer: Alake Pilgrim; Director of Photography: Sean Edghill; Original Music: Francesco Emmanuel; Producer: Catherine Emmanuel
Inward Hunger: The Story of Eric Williams is a project of First Citizens in partnership with Government Information Services Ltd with additional financial support from the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company.
Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival (2012)
Havana International Film Festival (2012)
Portobello Film Festival (2012)
Director/ Producer: Mariel Brown
Director of Photography: Sean Edghill
Composer: Francesco Emmanuel
Writer: Alake Pilgrim