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BIFF forecast calls for ‘Rain’

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There’s an old comedy skit about Bermudians watching it rain in rapt fascination.

Now Bermudians can watch it rain on the big screen at the upcoming Bermuda International Film Festival (BIFF).

American filmmaker Kristin Alexander has created a short documentary, ‘Trusting Rain’, about Bermuda’s unique method of water catchment and conservation.

The film is produced by Bermudian Bayard Outerbridge.

“I have been making this film for a couple of years,” said Ms Alexander, who is from Massachusetts. “I have been interviewing different people on the Island about their use of water and their history with it.”

Several Bermudians are featured in the film including environmentalist Stuart Hayward, Fairmont Hamilton Princess “singing” doorman Carvel Van Putten, water tester Kent Simmons and farmer Tom Wadson.

The film looks at Bermudians’ attitude towards water conservation, and also the different ways that water has been collected here over time.

“The movie just follows their stories and shows the beauty of the Island,” said Ms Alexander. “I have been doing environmental films and films about people for some time. I have been lucky enough to come to the Island fairly frequently. The film developed out of that.

“‘Trusting Rain’ is not so much about the way Bermudians view it but the way the rest of travellers and off-islanders view it. It is a way of life in Bermuda to conserve, but that is not so for people from other areas. I think that many travellers that come to Bermuda have no idea that it is a limited resource and they use it freely and don’t think about it. I think that the Bermudian way of life could be transferred to other areas.”

She said it was not so much our method of collecting water from the roof that could be replicated elsewhere, but our belief that water usage should be controlled and monitored.

“In other places, we tend to use too much water and not think about it, because it comes from a pipe and we don’t consider that it is a limited resource,” said Ms Alexander. “I have been there through droughts in Bermuda. I have interviewed Tom Wadson through one of the droughts. He uses solely the rooftop collection system. He doesn’t truck any water because it is too expensive for the farm.”

Ms Alexander said she originally thought the film would only work in Bermuda, but now thinks it might have wider interest and lessons for the global community.

“When I started I was doing more of a portrait of Bermuda and the people who are so wonderful,” she said. “I had been showing it to people here [in the United States] and I am finding a big interest. There is so little understanding of how a small Island with a large population can handle this problem. It is very interesting to other people to learn about Bermuda and see it. I think it is going to be useful.”

Ms Alexander, of Undercurrent Productions, has made several short environmental films and television documentaries. Her 2009 short film ‘Green Eco-Machine’ screened in festivals across the United States.

‘Trusting Rain’ will screen on March 20 at Liberty Theatre at 3.45pm. Mr Van Putten will sing a short song before the film is shown. BIFF runs March 16 to 22. To purchase tickets or to see the whole line up of films go to www.biff.bm.

Wadson's Farm in Southampton is one of the locations featured in a new film about Bermuda water conservation, 'Trusting Rain'.
Filmmaker Kristin Alexander.
Singing Hamilton Princess doorman Carvel Van Putten and a hotel guest. Mr Van Putten is one of the Bermudians featured in the film 'Trusting Rain'.

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Published March 08, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated March 08, 2012 at 8:03 am)

BIFF forecast calls for ‘Rain’

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