Renowned author and journalist Peter Bailey will screen “The Unbreakable Virgin Islanders,” the second film from his highly anticipated Paradise Discovered series at this year’s Charleston Carifest as part of a nationwide screening tour Bailey has embarked on. In this gripping documentary, Bailey reflects on surviving both hurricanes Irma and Maria on his native St. Thomas alongside a cross-section of voices across the Virgin Islands. Bailey will also serve as the keynote speaker for festival’s opening ceremony and Grand Marshal of the Carnival Parade.
SC Caribbean Culture & Heritage will host the Charleston Carifest Symposium & Opening Reception at College of Charleston Office of Professional Studies (3800 Paramount Drive, North Charleston) Thursday, June 20, 2019 from 6:00 PM – 9:00PM.
From Bailey’s 75 year-old mother’s defiant prayers, to Governor Kenneth Mapp advocating to President Trump and high schooler Indira’s compassion for her classmates alongside boxer Julius Jackson cooking up dishes to serve the community, Unbreakable celebrates the unconquerable spirit of the Virgin Islands community. The story of Anique Thomas-Harrigan, who lost her husband Ishmael “Tarik” Harrigan, is heart wrenching yet her strength is inspiring. Bailey has dedicated the film to his father Joseph Bailey, who died September 3rd.
“We’re now historical figures,” says Bailey. “It’s time for the world to understand that the people in these islands are as magical as the scenery.” A community “where the people took care of each other” as described in this inspiring documentary, the Virgin Islands is an enchanting US territory on the verge of reinventing its story in the wake of tragedy. Bailey debuted The Anguilla Connection, the first film from Paradise Discovered in July on the island of Anguilla, his mother’s homeland.
Bailey has become a national figure throughout the Caribbean for his journalistic efforts after the storms. His controversial New York Times Op Ed “Has America Forgotten the Virgin Islands?” on which Unbreakable is based and subsequent interviews aired on CBS and other media outlets criticizing the US government’s handling of the islands’ recovery have since gone viral on social media. He wrote the Times’ piece while building a makeshift roof.
Thus far the film has garnered rave reviews from those who’ve attended the screenings at the various colleges and universities visited which includes USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, University of Delaware, University of South Florida and most recently the College of Charleston. Unbreakable has also been named an official selection at Indie Night Film Festival at the Chinese Theater located on the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.