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From The Cayman Net News:

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During a recent interview with Cayman Net News, Frank E Flowers, the writer and director of the film 'Haven', spoke candidly about the movie and the issues that he felt it highlighted, writes Christopher Tobutt.

Mr Flowers sees his film as one that provides many topics for discussion.

"It deals with a lot of issues that are very prevalent today. There are many issues that we've got to talk about. It makes me really excited to be part (of what is happening here). Things are evolving, things are escalating, and I'm really excited by it. I'm conscious of it and I think a lot of people are too. The reactions of people are: 'good, let's talk about these things, let's get them out there, let's start dealing with them,'" he said.

"I have been working with the Ministry of Education and the ministers are all very keen to listen and to, deal with these issues, (the issues raised by the film)."

Mr Flowers was aware of the movie's power to shake people out of their apathy, and out of their sense of insulation to other people's misfortunes, one of the characteristics of living in the television age.

Haven does this principally focusing on a single life, a single tragedy, and compelling us to deal with it.

"The movie showed one man's journey from being a loving guy, a normal sort of dude, to taking the ultimate step, to becoming a murderer," Mr Flowers explained.

"We read about these things but we are sort of disaffected; removed from it."

The reason is, he explained, we are only able to take a limited number of emotive issues on board at a single time:

"There are so many crazy and terrible things going on in the world, that as human beings we cannot possibly internalize them all, we wouldn't be able to enjoy our lives.so the world's culture is evolving into a place of: 'How much can I really care about? How much can I really take on my plate?'"

Mr Flowers was also aware of the uniqueness of the film stemming from the uniqueness of the Cayman culture and environment:

"Haven could be (about) any small town in America, it could be any small town in Europe. The issues are the same, but what makes it unique is our culture and how we actually deal with things," he said.

Mr Flowers has many words of praise for all the people who have supported the film so consistently, despite its controversial content.

"The Ministry of Education has been so brave, and the Minister supporting this film amidst those things that are culturally objectionable. I think that's a huge step. It's brave; it's very brave," he said.

He also praised the corporate sector for supporting the film:

"This hotel, the Ritz and Delta Airlines.these people sponsoring this event, just being brave by saying: 'You know what, we're going to support a story that's long overdue, despite the bits of controversy.'

"It's really admirable from the corporate side of things to the Government side of things, that should not be taken lightly.

Mr Flowers said he felt that people should take full advantage of the atmosphere of talking about things openly, that the film has presented: "It's rare that we'll ever have a film made about our people with so much honesty and this sort of perspective; and we should seize that opportunity.I think: 'What do we do with that platform?"

One of the central themes of the movie, is the theme of disaffection and isolation, which is a growing feature of modern society, wherever it is described in the world:

"As far as that whole theme being disaffected is concerned, I think we all, in different parts of our lives, feel marginalized, whether it be by our family, by our culture, or sometimes, by our society.

"(Here in Cayman) it's small enough for everyone to know everybody else, but people also slip through the cracks here, and when that happens, people don't really feel responsible; they tune out and turn off.

It's very sad when that happens," Mr Flowers commented.

"The whole theme of Haven was that when people feel disenfranchised they don't feel the responsibility of protecting something; (they think): 'If it's not for me, why should I care about it.'"

Speaking of one of the other main characters of the movie, Andrea, Mr Flowers commented:

"There are all these people who almost want a piece of her, almost like they wanted to protect her from herself, but also for themselves, like her father and Shy.

"When you have something beautiful of course you want it all, but when you do, you often end up destroying it but always with the best of intentions: That's the irony.

"Andrea is just wanting to feel something, to feel alive again, because she feels broken; feels like something has been taken from her," he commented.

"In Haven there are many tiers and many levels, and people at certain levels are not really as affected as people at others.

"For some people what happens is devastating. We don't realize that every time we read about an accident in the newspaper, that's literally somebody's life destroyed.

"I think the film explores apathy and empathy in these characters and the irony is that if they had taken a moment to notice, they might have saved themselves from their own fate," he said.

One of the things that made Haven such a special film was the imaginative use of unusual camera angles.

Many of these visual interludes stood on their own, as statements in their own right, such as the close-up underwater shot of the fishing boat and fishing net, or the shot of the big waves breaking menacingly on the beach, seen through the corrupt corporate lawyer's window.

Part of the use of such apparently isolated visual commentaries, often linked by reference to natural landscapes, had the effect of providing the Island with its own voice:

"The Island has its own tale to tell because the Island is very much a character in the film; the Island is narrating the story.

"The Island has its own story to tell, despite these people.

Cayman is s a place that's very welcoming and very beautiful, but if you try to bite it, it will bite you back."

Further commenting on the in-depth depiction of the characters in the movie, Mr Flowers said: "All these characters are flawed in some way, they are all broken people and in some ways they may have the keys to fix each other, in other ways they are just ships passing in the night."

Taking up the theme of ships, and the literal definition of the word Haven as a place of safety, Mr Flowers said everyone is hoping to get to somewhere safe.

"We are all a little bit like that, trying to find our way through this journey of life; trying to find something safe," he added.

"Some of us have found it already and some of us haven't, but in any case, the safety (each one) finds is only temporary. You find a haven and you can only stay there so long, then you have to move on.

"Things fall apart, people get divorced; people die, people change and the things that kept you safe five years ago don't keep you safe today.

"Your only safety is to keep the journey going so that in progressing you find sanctuary, you find safety only in the movement, the progression," he said.

"We are learning that the hard way in this country; we had a tradition of beautiful, idealistic way of living maybe 20 or 30 years ago, and we thought that holding onto that through changing times would be enough, but it didn't work out, everything gets shaken up in the end.

This is not the Cayman of yesteryear; it had to end; it had to change, and it's only in change, only in the progression that we will find safety again. I think that's a really important deal," he noted.

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Thanks for providing this article, Rebecca. I wish I could have seen the movie, but I will on DVD.

The following comments by Mr. Flowers really speak to me:

Further commenting on the in-depth depiction of the characters in the movie, Mr Flowers said: "All these characters are flawed in some way, they are all broken people and in some ways they may have the keys to fix each other, in other ways they are just ships passing in the night."

Taking up the theme of ships, and the literal definition of the word Haven as a place of safety, Mr Flowers said everyone is hoping to get to somewhere safe.

"We are all a little bit like that, trying to find our way through this journey of life; trying to find something safe," he added.

"Your only safety is to keep the journey going so that in progressing you find sanctuary, you find safety only in the movement, the progression," he said.

Life is not static, but ever-changing. I believe we are all looking for a safe haven where we can fulfill our lives. Each change brings a subsequent alteration within us, whether internal or external.

I can't wait to see this movie!

WW

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Thanks, Jane, I enjoyed reading the article. I was particularly struck by his comments about Andrea:

Speaking of one of the other main characters of the movie, Andrea, Mr Flowers commented:

"There are all these people who almost want a piece of her, almost like they wanted to protect her from herself, but also for themselves, like her father and Shy.

"When you have something beautiful of course you want it all, but when you do, you often end up destroying it but always with the best of intentions: That's the irony.

"Andrea is just wanting to feel something, to feel alive again, because she feels broken; feels like something has been taken from her," he commented.

I guess people so often do have great intentions, but their own motivations get in the way.

I'm also really impressed that he has worked with different government agencies to talk about the issues that the movie raises. He really is a very talented and thoughtful guy.

Jules

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Every time I hear this young man speak . whether via taped or print interviews . I'm impressed by his depth, intelligence and compassion. I hear Orlando's comments echoing in my head . "...and he's so young, only 24 when he wrote Haven!" Even when Frank E.'s in casual mode and joking around with peers, his quality shines through. I hope Haven is just the beginning of a long career for him making movies that encourage people to think and have messages and lessons to offer - as well as present great characterizations. This guy is something special. Thanks, Jane, for bringing this over here.

And I do hope everyone who can will see this film, buy the DVD. It has its rough edges and is surely tragic, but the creativity and intensity are wonderful and ought to be seen by many more than could get to it during it's very brief theatrical run. (I harbor a general sadness that little films that come from someone's heart are so often lost in the glut of big, flashy, generally stupid and often worthless films that are hyped and featured . and that's all many people have the chance to see anymore. The industry has gone stupid and does a dis-service to itself as well as the movie-going public. I was pretty well amazed when Crash won the Oscar last year - that gave me a moment of hope! Maybe things will turn around a bit.)

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Every time I hear this young man speak . whether via taped or print interviews . I'm impressed by his depth, intelligence and compassion. I hear Orlando's comments echoing in my head . "...and he's so young, only 24 when he wrote Haven!" Even when Frank E.'s in casual mode and joking around with peers, his quality shines through. I hope Haven is just the beginning of a long career for him making movies that encourage people to think and have messages and lessons to offer - as well as present great characterizations. This guy is something special. Thanks, Jane, for bringing this over here.

And I do hope everyone who can will see this film, buy the DVD. It has its rough edges and is surely tragic, but the creativity and intensity are wonderful and ought to be seen by many more than could get to it during it's very brief theatrical run. (I harbor a general sadness that little films that come from someone's heart are so often lost in the glut of big, flashy, generally stupid and often worthless films that are hyped and featured . and that's all many people have the chance to see anymore. The industry has gone stupid and does a dis-service to itself as well as the movie-going public. I was pretty well amazed when Crash won the Oscar last year - that gave me a moment of hope! Maybe things will turn around a bit.)

Nin, I agree with everything you said here. Frank E. sounds like a very thoughtful young man, just like our Orlando and I can see why the two of them have hit it off so well together, they both have the same special qualities and they both care about their fellow human beings and the world around them.

Thank you Jane for sharing this with us. :hug:

Kim

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I think I now understand why Frank was able to make Haven: he has an insight far beyond his years. He also has a great talent for screenwriting. The two combine to bring us something that can teach everyone something. I know I better understand the kids in my mixed neighborhood thanks to this film.

LadyNin, I share your disgust at the attention given fluff films while really great ones like Haven and KoH are forgotten. If only a small portion of the energy put into those 'blockbusters' was to given important films, this world could be a better place. I am glad to see Haven is making a difference in the Caymans. Hopefully, it's worldwide release will do good elsewhere as well.

I do hope we get to hear when Frank makes another film. I know I'd like to see it!

Beth 37

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I do hope we get to hear when Frank makes another film. I know I'd like to see it! Beth 37
He's working on his next film, Beth, for 20th Century Fox. The working title is "The Trespasser". It's another crime thriller, this time set in Miami. You can check out what little information there is about it here on IMDb.com.

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He's working on his next film, Beth, for 20th Century Fox. The working title is "The Trespasser". It's another crime thriller, this time set in Miami. You can check out what little information there is about it here on IMDb.com.

Thanks Rebecca! I'll keep an eye out for it. It's nice to see his career developing.

Beth 37

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Thank you Rebecca for posting this interesting interview!

Mr Flowers sees his film as one that provides many topics for discussion.

Mr Flowers said he felt that people should take full advantage of the atmosphere of talking about things openly, that the film has presented: "It's rare that we'll ever have a film made about our people with so much honesty and this sort of perspective; and we should seize that opportunity.I think: 'What do we do with that platform?"

It was my profound wish that this movie would indeed provoke serious discussion that would be the catalyst for change! It was bothering me that I had not seen or heard any discussion about the issues the movie dealt with.This movie had an effect on me like no other Orlando movie. This was an intensely visceral movie and was not easy to watch at times. But this movie did not merely exploit the tough issues and situations presented as mere shock value for entertinment. It was clearly beacuse of the personal attachment of it's director to the subject matter that made this movie stand out from all the other purely exploitive 'urban crap' movies out there; the ones that feature obscenities, violence and gratuitous sex only to poke fun, exploit or appeal to ones' most base tendencies and curiosities.

Mr Flowers was aware of the movie's power to shake people out of their apathy, and out of their sense of insulation to other people's misfortunes, one of the characteristics of living in the television age.

"There are so many crazy and terrible things going on in the world, that as human beings we cannot possibly internalize them all, we wouldn't be able to enjoy our lives.so the world's culture is evolving into a place of: 'How much can I really care about? How much can I really take on my plate?'"

"We read about these things but we are sort of disaffected; removed from it."

We don't realize that every time we read about an accident in the newspaper, that's literally somebody's life destroyed

This is EXACTLY the affect this movie had on me. It's true I think that TV, cinema and even print media distances us from the 'real human beings' being portrayed. We have become desensitized to some extent. Most of the time we see a movie and say 'this isn't really real, it's just a movie'. But to me, because of the honesty of these characters, they were utterly REAL to me. Although Shy and Andrea are fictional characters, I couldn't help but think that there are actually people living the lives and tradgedies depicted by these two young characters!

Haven does this principally by focusing on a single life, a single tragedy, and compelling us to deal with it.

"The movie showed one man's journey from being a loving guy, a normal sort of dude, to taking the ultimate step, to becoming a murderer," Mr Flowers explained.

Orlando's portrayal of Shy was so natural, true and honest. He shows us how our passions, needs and desires can cause us to use lose sight of the consequences of our actions and how they affect others, how a good and honest person can be the cause and catalyst of so much pain and disillusionment. It never ceases to amaze and astound me just how fragile, precious and precarious our lives are. It seems that at any moment we can be either thrown into utter chaos and calamity or transcended into peace and fulfillment, teetering between catastrophie and redemption.

Speaking of one of the other main characters of the movie, Andrea, Mr Flowers commented:

"There are all these people who almost want a piece of her, almost like they wanted to protect her from herself, but also for themselves, like her father and Shy.

"When you have something beautiful of course you want it all, but when you do, you often end up destroying it but always with the best of intentions: That's the irony.

"Andrea is just wanting to feel something, to feel alive again, because she feels broken; feels like something has been taken from her," he commented.

The character that by far moved me the most was Andrea (Zoe delivers an award-winning performance.). Her family was so determined to protect their idea of 'her' and what they wanted of her they failed to see the individual that she really was. They were more interested in protecting and possessing her 'idealized' virtues. They may have believed they were acting out of love and concern, but never realized the selfishness of their motives, whether it was to uphold the family name and status or to preserve their self images as brother and father. Like Frankie said when we try to own somthing that is not ultimately our right to take we often end up smothering or destroying it's divine nature and purpose. The depths that Zoe's character descented to were her desperate attempt to retieve all that was denied and taken from her. My heart just bled for Andrea!

One of the things that got to me the most in the movie was the way that the young women were treated, exploited and abused. I know it's been that way since the beginning of time! but what bothers me is the way young girls treat each other. It's all so casual in the way they use demeaning words and postures (yes I'm not ashamed to say I'm old fashioned!). All you have to do is watch of few seconds of MTV to see what I mean. We can easily pass this off as just 'part of the generation' but I think it' need to be addressed just the same. (Okaty I'll stop preaching now!)

Further commenting on the in-depth depiction of the characters in the movie, Mr Flowers said: "All these characters are flawed in some way, they are all broken people and in some ways they may have the keys to fix each other, in other ways they are just ships passing in the night."

"I think the film explores apathy and empathy in these characters and the irony is that if they had taken a moment to notice, they might have saved themselves from their own fate," he said.

How often are we acting as just 'ships that pass in the night'? When we were leaving the theater we heard complaints that 'none of the characters (and the movie in general?) had any redeeming values' (which Marie argued vehemently against-go Marie!). Isn't this the whole point? The real tragedy is that these characters had the capacity to heal and save each other but never realized it. I think this is one of the the real messages of the movie. I had to believe that even at the end of the movie when all seems lost that there is still the chance of healing and redemtion.

One of the central themes of the movie, is the theme of disaffection and isolation, which is a growing feature of modern society, wherever it is described in the world:

"As far as that whole theme being disaffected is concerned, I think we all, in different parts of our lives, feel marginalized, whether it be by our family, by our culture, or sometimes, by our society.

"(Here in Cayman) it's small enough for everyone to know everybody else, but people also slip through the cracks here, and when that happens, people don't really feel responsible; they tune out and turn off.

"The whole theme of Haven was that when people feel disenfranchised they don't feel the responsibility of protecting something; (they think): 'If it's not for me, why should I care about it.'"

It's very sad when that happens," Mr Flowers commented.

Most of us can emphasize with feelings of being left out, alone or at least ignored. We forget there are people that are virtually invisible in our society that go unacknowledged and uncared for. Sometimes they are so marginalized we have to seek them out. It is hard to believe Frank is so young, I am so impressed with his sense of responsibility and astute awareness as a director!

Mr Flowers has many words of praise for all the people who have supported the film so consistently, despite its controversial content.

"The Ministry of Education has been so brave, and the Minister supporting this film amidst those things that are culturally objectionable. I think that's a huge step. It's brave; it's very brave," he said.

"It deals with a lot of issues that are very prevalent today. There are many issues that we've got to talk about. It makes me really excited to be part (of what is happening here). Things are evolving, things are escalating, and I'm really excited by it. I'm conscious of it and I think a lot of people are too. The reactions of people are: 'good, let's talk about these things, let's get them out there, let's start dealing with them,'" he said.

Clearly these issues are very difficult to discuss and often even more difficult to acknowledge and admit they exist, especially in our own cultures, families and societies.

To me this is the essence of art. Yes it is meant to entertain as well, but the true purpose of art is to give us a clear vision of ourselves and society as it is and as it should be. It points out the flaws but also points to the potential of healing and love we are truly capable of. I hope more people will be able to see this movie and are inspired and motivated to 'talk about all these things and,start dealing with them." If a young person of his own gereratuion can see this needs to take place, it surely is a good sign!

I didn't mean for this post to be so long. (Sorry if I preached to much!)

Kim :hug:

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....Clearly these issues are very difficult to discuss and often even more difficult to acknowledge and admit they exist, especially in our own cultures, families and societies.

To me this is the essence of art. Yes it is meant to entertain as well, but the true purpose of art is to give us a clear vision of ourselves and society as it is and as it should be. It points out the flaws but also points to the potential of healing and love we are truly capable of. I hope more people will be able to see this movie and are inspired and motivated to 'talk about all these things and,start dealing with them." If a young person of his own generation can see this needs to take place, it surely is a good sign!

I didn't mean for this post to be so long. (Sorry if I preached to much!)

Kim :hug:

Kim, you did what I didn't do . comment in detail on Frank E's deeply sentitive and keenly observant discussion of his hopes for and resulting changes from this film. You've hit on all the things that so impressed me, too. So, thanks for saying it all. :clap:

Looking at the planet where it/we are these days from the vantage of . well, I guess I qualify as an "elder" . it's easy to become saddened and frustrated by the way things seem to be going all around us and how frantic, furious and frenzied life often is for our kids. I have been so impressed by Frank E Flowers and the understanding and talent he is bringing to his offerings. Gives a grandmother hope that the next generation hasn't all gone to shallow and frivilous, self-centered things and that they will have inspiration from artists like him to improve things socially, emotionally and yes, spiritually for themselves and the ones to follow. I can only hope that his voice and energy will be contagious and that the film industry will make a place for more like him, bringing thoughtful work like Haven to the screen in a format that teens will see. Kids don't like to listen to old fogeys, but if some of their own can lead the way, not be afraid to care . change for the better can happen.

Role models don't have to be extreme to be cool . one of the things I've always appreciated about Orlando is his courage to just be his own self, even with all the hyped-up adulation. Like it or not, earned it or not, he is a role model and for him to be drawing attention to up-and-coming talent like Flowers' is putting positive energy out there for our kids. Orlando was frequently saying during junket interviews that Haven was not too gritty or too hard-core for teen audiences, even with its harsh subject matter and rating . and I think he's right. Kids grow up faster than ever these days and many can relate to this kind of stuff or at the least have seen it. To look at it honestly is a first step to fixing problems, maybe even preventing disaster before it happens.

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Gives a grandmother hope that the next generation hasn't all gone to shallow and frivilous, self-centered things and that they will have inspiration from artists like him to improve things socially, emotionally and yes, spiritually for themselves and the ones to follow. I can only hope that his voice and energy will be contagious and that the film industry will make a place for more like him, bringing thoughtful work like Haven to the screen in a format that teens will see. Kids don't like to listen to old fogeys, but if some of their own can lead the way, not be afraid to care . change for the better can happen.

I really think that the generation now coming into adulthood is the generation that will make a change. I see it in my kids and their friends. Maybe because they have been raised seeing these things in the media etc., unfiltered and unsensored, they are more affected by what is happening in the world at large. I think they have the courage and confidence to do something to affect change. Whatever it is it's a good sign.

Role models don't have to be extreme to be cool . one of the things I've always appreciated about Orlando is his courage to just be his own self, even with all the hyped-up adulation. Like it or not, earned it or not, he is a role model and for him to be drawing attention to up-and-coming talent like Flowers' is putting positive energy out there for our kids.

You are so right about kids not wanting to listen to us 'old fogeys'! Let's face it a lot of us old fogeys are offended by such movies as Haven because we don't get messages like these aimed at the younger generation. It's just not our language. For the younger generation, their influences unfortunately often come from the media, so like you I thank God for those such as Orlando and Frank that can speak to this generation and have a positive influence on them.

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Gives a grandmother hope that the next generation hasn't all gone to shallow and frivilous, self-centered things and that they will have inspiration from artists like him to improve things socially, emotionally and yes, spiritually for themselves and the ones to follow. I can only hope that his voice and energy will be contagious and that the film industry will make a place for more like him, bringing thoughtful work like Haven to the screen in a format that teens will see. Kids don't like to listen to old fogeys, but if some of their own can lead the way, not be afraid to care . change for the better can happen.

I really think that the generation now coming into adulthood is the generation that will make a change. I see it in my kids and their friends. Maybe because they have been raised seeing these things in the media etc., unfiltered and unsensored, they are more affected by what is happening in the world at large. I think they have the courage and confidence to do something to affect change. Whatever it is it's a good sign.

Role models don't have to be extreme to be cool . one of the things I've always appreciated about Orlando is his courage to just be his own self, even with all the hyped-up adulation. Like it or not, earned it or not, he is a role model and for him to be drawing attention to up-and-coming talent like Flowers' is putting positive energy out there for our kids.

You are so right about kids not wanting to listen to us 'old fogeys'! Let's face it a lot of us old fogeys are offended by such movies as Haven because we don't get messages like these aimed at the younger generation. It's just not our language. For the younger generation, their influences unfortunately often come from the media, so like you I thank God for those such as Orlando and Frank that can speak to this generation and have a positive influence on them.

Thank you ladies for articulating the deeper impact of this film. Sometimes I just absorb things without needing to put everything into words. I'm glad someone can.

I just started reading a book called "The Pythons Autobiography by The Pythons". In typical Monty Python fashion, their autobiography was put together by a man called Bob McCabe. In the preface he compares the influence of Monty Python to that of the Beatles. The Pythons formed just as the Beatles were dissolving and he feels that "the torch was passed" in some way. The following thought from his preface just jumped out at me because I have long felt the truth of it.

Bob McCabe says:

Those that change the world don't necessarily do it with a bang; sometimes they do it when people are just looking the other way. But it changes nonetheless - and for the good.

I really believe this. I even said as much to Orlando in a letter I wrote to him years ago, comparing his influence to that of the Beatles. They were a Cosmic Alarm Clock and so is he. It's the reason one small person can change the course of history. That person doesn't have to be aware that they are the catalyst. Changing the world might be the furthest thing from their mind, or not. But if that person is true to himself and plays his appointed role, the world changes. Looks like we can add Frank to that list as well.

Krissy

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