Lucinda Spurling. *File photo
Lucinda Spurling. *File photo
The widening gap between Bermuda’s rich and poor is explored in a film produced by the Coalition for the Protection of Children.

Poverty in Paradise: The Price We Pay is by Bermudian filmmaker Lucinda Spurling and charts the struggles families face in providing basic needs for themselves and their children. It also links poverty to the spiralling crime plaguing the community.

Sheelagh Cooper, chairperson for the Coalition said: “In 2000, 50 per cent of black female-headed households with children were living at or below the poverty line — and increasingly, families are finding it impossible to afford the basic necessities such as rent, food and electricity.

“We have made this film, showing a side of Bermuda that is often hidden away, because we want to transform the assumptions held by many about why particular people live in poverty. The film is very powerful — we hope it will affect the social and political will in Bermuda, transforming the way Bermudians understand their community and influencing the necessary policies to put Bermuda on a more positive and prosperous path for all.”

Ms. Spurling, whose previous films include Rare Bird and The Lion and the Mouse, said that working on this latest film has had a profound impact on her.

She said: “More than any other project that I have worked on, it has been a huge learning experience and has opened my eyes to the complexity of our social problems. I encourage everyone who is concerned about the future of Bermuda to see the film at Bermuda Docs.”

Poverty in Paradise will premiere at the Bermuda Documentary Film Festival on Saturday, April 30, at 8.30pm at the Tradewinds Auditorium at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

The film will be preceded by Higher Ground: the Cahow Translocation Project, a 32-minute documentary film produced the LookBermuda. The film, part of the organization’s educational outreach programme, profiles the project — being run by conservation officer Jeremy Madeiros — to protect the future of Bermuda’s national bird.

Duncan Hall, Bermuda Docs founder and director, said: “Lucinda’s film is bound to provoke healthy discussion around the issue of poverty and I am pleased to also support the educational outreach project set up by J.P. and his team.

“There must not be many places worldwide of Bermuda’s size where there are as many talented filmmakers as we are fortunate to have here.”

The full Bermuda Docsfestival line-up will be announced on Friday April 15. Tickets for the festival from April 29-30-1 May, go on sale Friday April 15 at www.bdatix.bm, at All Wrapped Up Home in Washington Mall, at the Money Shop, Dundonald Street, and at Fabulous Fashions, Heron Bay Plaza, Southampton. Tickets may also be ordered by phoning 232-2255. They cost $15 each.