This is the story of Donell, an eleven-year-old boy who lives in Trinidad in the West Indies. Donell’s fondest desire when he grows up is to become a “Panman”, i.e. their name for a steel drummer. The steel drum is a fairly new instrument, made from old oil drums. It has come a long way over the past few years. Bands with more than one hundred musicians, called “steel bands,” play calypso (traditional Trinidadian music,) jazz and classical music with gusto. Using the child’s life and the musicians around him as the basis for the story, the director opens up the country and its folklore to us and introduces us to its warm, exuberant people, whose lives seem to evolve to a musical beat. One the eve of Carnival in Trinidad, the most famous of the steel bands play on the “Panorama,” the great annual competition. Every neighborhood in the city has its own band. After months of rehearsal, Donell is chosen to play in the famous “Potential Symphony Orchestra.” This is the proudest day of his life.
Directed by: Barthelemy Fougea • A Boréales Production • Release Year: 1999
26 minutes • Color