By Darlene Donloe
In the drama, Home Again, veteran actress CCH Pounder plays a distraught mother who, naively, puts her teenage son in harm’s way because she didn’t know any better.
Her inexperience with the law leaves her son in a precarious situation after he is sent back to Jamaica where he has no familial ties.
This film is a reality check about what happens every day in this and other countries, to persons,
including children, who, if caught breaking the law, are sent back to their native countries even if they’ve never lived there.
The One Village Entertainment, RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, is a heart-wrenching tale of three strangers deported to a home they’ve never known, forced to start their lives over on the unforgiving streets of Jamaica. Tatyana Ali (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Stephan James (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Lyriq Bent (The Saw franchise) and CCH Pounder (Avatar, The Shield) costar in the drama from award-winning director Sudz Sutherland.
Marva (Ali), a single mother from Toronto, struggles to cope with being ripped from her children. Everton (James), an irresponsible British teen, desperately awaits word of his court appeal. Dunston (Bent), a New Yorker, tries to escape his criminal past. Once in Kingston they discover every day is a fight for survival where family support, friendships, and shelter are elusive. They embark on a journey that pushes their endurance beyond measure and forces them to discover who they truly are.
I recently caught up with the Emmy-nominated Pounder, who can also be seen in FX’s Sons of Anarchy, to talk about her role in Home Again.
DD: This film is so daunting and dark. Your thoughts when you first read the script?
CCHP: My idea of this movie is that it’s a cautionary tale. It’s a way to start a dialogue of what we do with our children. Sometimes lack of knowledge can leave you in a precarious position.
It’s about what’s happening every day in the U.S. and may countries around the world. You can just replace Jamaica, where this film takes place, with Mexico, Russia or any other country.
DD: How did this movie affect you?
CCHP: I’m really interested in telling those stories, but more than anything because I wasn’t aware of the child factor and what can happen. It’s important that movies can incite dialogue. We are going through it right now. Should we allow them to have a driver’s license? They also want to go to college. Some parents didn’t do the work for their children. In the seven to nine years it takes to file proper paperwork, you very well could forget to do it. These things we don’t think about. The problem only happens to be a problem. I think the film has a potential to change policy or at least be part of a dialogue. Be more than just a drama in the theater, it has all the potential. It is a fair depiction. The rings of truth are very real. You are hoping that it goes beyond just a movie. We need to consider. Could this happen to me?
DD: You play a woman who seems to be at her wit’s end. What do you think about her?
CCHP: As the actor you say to yourself, ‘How could she be so stupid?’ I got very annoyed with my character. I had to go back to what happens when you’re not a person of privilege. Once I got the sense of a single mother, an immigrant, raising a child, a male children, a Jamaican male child, once you get that whole picture together and you realize all the things you’ve been spending time on – that is where the discipline goes into crisis mode. You’re left with no time to instill and inspire.
DD: Describe working with Sudz Sutherland.
CCHP: The Sutherlands are a husband and wife production team. I was completely blown away by the work they had done prior. I’m from Guyana. I was born and raised there. I grew up in Englanda and was brought to the U.S. I have been immigrating all of my life. I have a penchant for the Caribbean and for Caribbean films.
The scripts have to be good. It doesn’t have to be political, or of a social consciousness for me to want to do it. Sudz and his wife are fascinating.
Home Again is currently available on DVD and digital download. The suggested retail price is $14.98. TRT: 104 minutes