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Friday, December 8, 2017

BAD LUCKY GOAT -- DVD Review by Porfle

Not quite the "boy and his goat" story I expected, BAD LUCKY GOAT (Film Movement, 2017) is more the story of a boy, his older sister, and their goat head.

It starts out as an entire dead goat but they sell the carcass to a butcher, trade the skin for a watch that someone found on the beach, and hang onto the head until they're convinced that it's the cause of all the bad juju they've been suffering since leaving the house.

But that's just the bare bones of what happens on that ill-fated day when Cornelius ("Corn" for short) and his sister Rita, while heatedly arguing about things as usual, smash the family truck into an escaped goat while on an errand for their parents in a rural village in the Caribbean. 

The damaged truck and the dead goat are problems the two will spend the rest of the day trying to solve, and their troubles only increase when they do so by lying, cheating, and generally avoiding responsibility whenever possible.

They're likable kids, though, despite constantly being at each other's throats as siblings often are.  Their misdeeds really aren't so bad that we can't identify with them--mostly--and they do keep us entertained not only with their attempts to earn enough to have the truck fixed (hence the goat carcass transaction and various other bartering attempts) but also by ending up on the wrong side of the local crime boss whose goat it was in the first place, not to mention the police.

We get to meet a succession of colorful characters, most of whom are either earning a meager living without getting all that worked up about it or making cheerful indigenous music in peaceful natural surroundings with their friends. 

I enjoyed listening to their Creole patois, which I only recognized as a form of English after listening to it for a few minutes (I challenge anyone who speaks English to decipher the dialogue without the subtitles). 

During all this we get a chance to drink in the beautiful tropical scenery and mostly laid-back ambience while the story ambles along at its own unhurried pace just like a reggae song.  (With a little kidnapping, cock-fighting, and other things thrown in to spice things up.)

Colombian director Samir Oliveros doesn't try to grip us with any big drama or hilarity, and there isn't a chase to cut to.  This gives us time to get to know Corn and Rita, and watch them gradually and somewhat begrudgingly grow closer during their long day of tedious travails which will test both their mettle and their basic humanity. 

This relationship is what the film is really all about, and its sweetly-rendered resolution makes watching BAD LUCKY GOAT not unlike a soothing balm for the soul. 

Buy it from Film Movement


Bonus short film "Miss World" by director Georgia Fu
Film Movement trailers

5.1 Surround Sound/2.0 Stereo
2.40:1 Widescreen
Creole With English Subtitles
76 Minutes


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