Family Of The Caribbean

This film is focused primarily on CARIFESTA 1981 (Links to an external site.) which was held in Barbados. It uses CARIFESTA as a central hub around which the filmmakers are attempting to make an argument about unity within the Caribbean region. With direct reference to the film write a two-page to three-page paper in which you respond to the following prompt

Prompt: In Family of the Caribbean, the filmmakers illustrate the importance of Caribbean popular culture. They use Caribbean music, visual arts, literature drama and dance to argue that, despite the great diversity within the region, the people of the Caribbean are one people. Despite this overarching argument, however, some of the tensions within the region are also apparent.

By “direct reference” I mean you MUST make clear reference to elements from the film and use them as evidence – explain how they are evidence of what you are discussing. In making the references, you should take note of the moment in the video when the evidence appears either by noting where it occurs in the structure of the documentary or taking note of the numbers on the counter at the bottom of the page.

Your essay MUST use the following headings and they MUST be in bold type.


In this section grab your reader’s attention. State in one, at most two, sentences the thesis of your argument, i.e. state your response to the prompt.


In this section, make reference to the lecture in the first class and explain why ‘culture’ generally and ‘popular culture as folk culture’ specifically are important to a society.

History of CARIFESTA

In this section describe the history of CARIFESTA as recounted in the film

Unity, Diversity, and Tension

In this section respond to the prompt. Make an evidence-based argument for your thesis. You are free to agree fully with the prompt, disagree fully with the prompt, or agree/disagree partially with the prompt. Your emphasis must be on clearly and precisely building your argument.


In this section summarize the argument you made about the film. Conclude with your personal evaluation of the film and any questions that you still have.

Please note two things

  1. The closed captioning is automatically generated and therefore, just like automatically generated closed captions on YouTube or in Canvas, there is a lot they miss. [You can also consider that automatic closed captions have more difficulty with certain accents and styles of language than others. Can you think what this might mean in preserving the breadth of human experience?
  2. This video was shot in 1981. Sometimes the quality of the image is not great. Making an evaluation of the film based merely on the degradation of images that were made prior to digital technology would be unjust as it not only ignores the physical realities of video tape, but it also judges productions made in developing countries to the same technical standard of countries with a great deal more money. [You can also think about this in relation to the archiving of human knowledge. What will get lost for future generations because we are unable to preserve the materials of poorer communities?]


Your paper MUST be compatible with Microsoft Word (you don’t need Microsoft Word, it must just be readable by Microsoft Word – for example Pages often is not).

  • Typed, double-spaced,12-point font Two to Three  pages
  • Include page numbers at the bottom of the page
  • Use one-inch margins
  • Include a reference list and correctly use APA citation format for all citations (the reference list is not included in the 2-3-pages)
  • You MUST save and upload your paper using the following convention Last name First name Family of the Caribbean Spring 2021
    • So if Robyn Fenty was in our class her assignment would be saved in the following manner: Fenty Robyn Family of the Caribbean Spring2021


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