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Feature film, "Bahamian Son" touches on the Outside Child Syndrome
By Robbin Whachell, The Bahamas Weekly News Team
Jan 15, 2016 - 2:00:52 PM

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"Bahamian Son" screenwriter, music producer, and lead actor, Reggie Henderson.

Knowing very little of the independent feature film, Bahamian Son other than that it was filmed in Nassau for the Bahamian scenes, and that the multi-talented Leah Eneas was in it, I was eager to finally view the film that opened the Bahamas International Film Festival in 2013.

"The story follows Kevin as he sets out to find his father whom he hasn't seen in more than thirty years. During his journey Kevin examines his own life and the family he has built for himself, as well as his childhood growing up in the projects of North Minneapolis. When Kevin does track down his father, he travels to The Bahamas to meet him. What happens in The Bahamas opens Kevin's eyes to a world and a history he never knew existed, it is also another test of Kevin's beliefs regarding family, loyalty, and what it means to be a son, a father, and a man."

Kevin is played by the film's co-producer Reggie Henderson, and after contacting him, I've learned it is based on true events in his life. With credits in screenwriting, film production, film direction, and music production Henderson has been making a mark in the world of entertainment, directing videos released on MTV, and producing music that features artists like Stokely of Mint Condition, Brother Ali, and Toki Wright. Henderson wrote the script for Bahamian Son as well as the musical score.

Reggie Henderson and Leah Eneas in "Bahamian Son"

Bahamian, Leah Eneas plays an island gal set up by Kevin's aunties to show him around Nassau. Eneas' character is sweet and lovable, but she's also tell-it-like-it-is real. When I contacted her to give her props on her acting she said, "I can say that working with Reggie seemed natural. It was definitely organic." That naturalism was evident in the film. Henderson said this about his leading lady, " Leah is truly an amazing talent and WILL be a star."

I was surprised to see another Bahamian I know in the film, that of Jabbar Franks, and his acting ability was a delight. Franks plays Kevin's friendly and loving cousin. I was quite certain it was his debut role, and when I contacted Franks, he confirmed that it was and said he had still not seen the film!

Bahamian Son supported a lot of local talent, and even Henderson's real aunt, Willamae Rolle, played Aunt Desiree. Other Bahamians aside from Eneas and Franks who landed parts were C. Kennedy Storr, Willamae Rolle, Doris Jackson, Wesley Finlayson, Mae Zonicle, Tamika Forbes, Aketa Smith, Aullena Robinson, Kennedy Storr Jr., Bryan Russell, Anthony Miller, Arthur Barry, Christopher Stubbs, Conch man from Goldies, Rayshanda Bain, and Crystal Brooks. 

Henderson openly thanked the Bahamas Film Commission and Angela Carroll the film's Bahamian line producer. "Angela was the glue that held it all together, making sure we had everything we needed," said Henderson who likes to vacation in The Bahamas at every chance he gets.

Bahamian Son did more than allow us to explore the cultural aspects of The Bahamas along with Kevin. It was a story within a story. It went back and forth between several worlds. There were flashbacks to Kevin's childhood being raised by a loving single mother in the projects in poverty, to his modern day world as a successful hardworking businessman handling the challenges of being divorced father of two girls.

On set in The Bahamas with "Bahamian Son" starring Reggie Henderson, Constance Anderson, Kennedy Storr, and Leah Eneas.

The juxtaposed worlds of his life as a young father, against his father in The Bahamas shows the stark reality of the Bahamian "outside" child syndrome which was so prevalent in yesteryear. It was common for men (even married men) to have children from a multitude of women.

The film definitely has some surprises.

" The Bahamas is a beautiful country that's rich in culture and history and I wanted to show people the realness of The Bahamas, not just the resorts," said Henderson. "I want to thank my Bahamian family that accepted me and embraced me with open arms; in particular Willamae Rolle, Tamico Rahming and my late aunt Estella Knowles who encouraged me to tell my story."

Renown film critic Jeffery Lyons said the movie is, "a poignant, touching story with some of the best, no-frills acting you're likely to see. It's warm, honest, and heart-felt."

I have to agree!

Bahamian Son was an Official Selection of the Twin Cities, Bahamas International and Pan African Film Festivals.

Bahamian Son can be rented or purchased on Vimeo.

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