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News > Culture

New Film Shows Culture, Language of Old Providence Island

  • Still from

    Still from "Bad Lucky Goat" Trailer | Photo: Festival de Cine de Lima

Published 9 November 2017

“We have our own traditional dances, our own food – which is lots of crab and lots of fish – and of course our own language,” said Howard.

The new movie, "Bad Lucky Goat," which has opened in Colombia, highlights the culture and distinct Creole language of Old Providence, Colombia.

What About First People, Indo-Caribbeans and Afro-South Americans?

A sister island to San Andres off the north coast of Colombia settled by Puritan religious refugees, pirates and former African slaves, the island is the home to a unique Caribbean culture.

It is currently home to just 5,000 people who speak “Old Providence-San Andres,” a distinct language whose vocabulary is mainly English, is spoken with an accent similar to most Caribbean English-speaking islands, but whose grammar is infused with Spanish and various Eastern African syntax and structure.

This is the first movie written and produced in Old Providence. It’s about a brother and sister who accidentally kill a goat with their parents’ car on the eve of tourist season, according to the Guardian. The movie’s director, Samir Oliveros who is from mainland Colombia said, “We wanted to showcase the island as it is – that’s never been done before ... We knew from the beginning it was going to be 100 percent in Creole, and in [mainland] Colombia, people don’t even know that they speak Creole in Old Providence.”

Even though Old Providence, once a part of Nicaragua, is now officially a part of the Colombian nation, residents are tied to their own history and island identity. Kiara Howard, one of the film’s protagonists and also a Providence native, said that "Bad Lucky Goat" gives islanders a chance to show how they live and how it differs to the, as she says, “continental Colombia.”

Howard added, “Of course my nationality is Colombian but more than that I am an islander. Everyone here is 100 percent islander, no matter what.”

“We have our own traditional dances, our own food – which is lots of crab and lots of fish – and of course our own language,” said Howard. “We have our own way of life that most people know nothing about.”

Directors and producers hope the film can help to preserve the language, which is changing from an influx of outside residents and tourism. Howard also hopes that the movie’s nationwide release encourages the Colombian government to support artistic projects of and by island residents.

Oliveros said he made the film also to break away from the stereotype that Colombia is all about violence and narco-trafficking promoted by Netflix.

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