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“I Only Want to Tell Caribbean Stories”: DP Shabier Kirchner on His Directorial Debut, the Short Film Dadli

I read a book on architecture and design in the subtropics, once, a long time ago, that described the region as inherently cozy. Palm trees and big-leafed plants, it said, are made for hiding; enough of them, bundled together, will look like home.

 

I read a book on architecture and design in the subtropics, once, a long time ago, that described the region as inherently cozy. Palm trees and big-leafed plants, it said, are made for hiding; enough of them, bundled together, will look like home.

Tiquan, the thirteen-year-old narrator of cinematographer Shabier Kirchner’s directorial debut, Dadli, has places to hide, the way teenagers need to. “I go far in the country,” he says. “Hunt, get high — nobody troubles me.” Dadli, a brief and searing documentary portrait of Antigua, where Kirchner grew up, is as short as Tiquan is young, but it provides plenty of time to meet him. Kirchner evinces, slowly, the involuntary pauses taken, like breaths, in the perfunctory haze of the day — the way you might remember, long after the fact, the brief incredulity in a friend’s eyes during a conversation, or the song on the radio that hour.

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