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TT Film Fest Film of the Day for Monday 24th September

As a kind of a pre-lanyap, Tribute to a Native Son, the film of Bhoe Tewarie’s conversation with VS Naipaul screens immediately before.

Today’s film is:

The Strange Luck of VS Naipaul (Adam Low/ 2008/ UK / Documentary / 78 mins/ PG-13) 8.30pm Screen 7, MovieTowne Port of Spain Q+A; also screens simultaneously at Screen 4, MT San Fernando.

It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good and the substantial loss to the writing and thinking world that was the death last August of the greatest writer Trinidad ever birthed has at least resulted in the re-screening at this years TT Film Fest of Adam Low’s 2008 made-for-television documentary about him.For an hour-plus, the widely held public image of VS Naipaul as arrogant, distant and sneering is replaced by that of a gentle, thoughtful person quite appreciative of the position in which he finds himself.No doubt, Low gave Naipaul a very easy ride: there are no questions about beating women or paying them for sex; the atmosphere of bonhomie is not ruffled by any mention of Naipaul’s feud with his former protégé, Paul Theroux, over Naipaul’s open contempt for the late wife he probably helped into an early grave; and no Naipaulian pronouncement at all is challenged, not even his self-declared ability to hear snakes a la Harry Potter.Nevertheless, and however achieved, a gentler aspect of Naipaul’s character that not even Patrick French’s biography touched is revealed.It would take a sympathetic filmmaker indeed to make his viewer feel something like real affection for a famously irascible man but perhaps Low’s luck is as strange and good as Naipaul’s was; the Q+A might well take on a different tone to the film.

Also consider: *Breaking the Cycle Q+A, 1pm MT POS; Unfinished Sentences, 3.30pm MT POS.