Everyday Activist - The Crest (CUFF.Docs 2017)

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 03:00 PM

The Crest

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

After being SPOILED last year with so many high quality documentary films from all festivals including CUFF, this one was disappointing. The Crest had the qualities of a great story, but failed to deliver anything more than a really expensive family reunion video. If you’re into Irish ancestry, maybe you’ll like more than I did, even though they seemed to have some trouble with a small family tree. Ironically, the people of the island, that these descendants wanted to visit, have a rich literary tradition that skipped a few generations.

One of relations left a fiddle behind in a pub generations ago. The fiddle acts as the catalyst to bring the descendants back to Ireland as a family to remember their heritage. Brilliant storyline I know! Too bad the filmmakers didn’t think so. What’s really sad is that at the end of the movie, we find out that someone wrote about the violin being left behind. We could have been reading that rather than random quotes. Someone outside the family found the violin and had it restored so it could be played again. That speaks to a strong lineage.

Instead, graffiti surfer meets his California surfer cousin, in Ireland for the first time at a family reunion. The King of Blasket was a respected man who could speak both English and Irish. His descendents leave much to be desired (FYI ~ Irish is available on the Duolingo App). California surfer hits his dad across the face with a pork chop and then later on complains no one treats him like royalty. I can’t imagine why. As for graffiti surfer, his graffiti is just pretty pictures not a vehicle to lead change like we see in Palestine. Since the son of graffiti surfer will know where his ancestors came from, we can only hope that he by passes his father’s mediocre footsteps to inherit the King of Blasket’s more honorable traits.

Being Asian, I understand the importance of places of origin and family history, but wow when people living in Massachusetts and Florida can’t keep in touch in the age of the Internet, I can’t take the ancestral story seriously, even if graffiti surfer’s mom is moved to tears. My family history easily goes back 25 generations on my father’s side. On my mother’s side, we can’t go back too far, because her grandfather came to Trinidad via the slave trade. Neither of my parents seem to have too much trouble keeping in touch with their extended families. Even I know all of my 27 first cousins and their kids.

The Crest will be screening at CUFF.Docs 2017 on Friday, November 17th at 6:45 pm at the Globe Cinema. The director will be in attendance.


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