Barbados | 2009 | 92 mins
“A HAND FULL OF DIRT” – Archie Redman, is a middle-aged man burdened by the weight of an unfulfilled life. He lives on a beautiful island. The kind of place people dream of visiting, but this brings him no comfort. He rises reluctantly each day to face a large, empty house, his wife having left him and his only son away at university. His sole daily destination is the shabby office at his failing hotel, where he is greeted by piles of bills and bank notices.
Thousands of miles away, Archie’s son, Jay, faces worries of his own. He is stuck in immigration limbo. Essentially penniless in a cold, unforgiving city but unable to legally work until his father pays off his substantial debt with the school. Still, he looks for a job, hoping against all hope that his father will come up with the cash in time to resolve things before he is forced to leave the country.
As the year ends and the holiday season arrives, Archie and Jay will find the walls closing in on them. Both will face increasing challenges. Pressures will…
A HAND FULL OF DIRT is Watson’s first feature length film. Prior to tackling the script he had created several short film and multimedia works. His video short, PREFIXED, was the first video work to be included in the annual Black Creativity Exhibition at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. He is a visual artist who has exhibited his work internationally and is in private collections in Jamaica, Barbados, New York, London and Chicago. Russell was previously Curator of Art and Media at Chicago’s HotHouse Center for International Performance and Exhibition, and Expanding the Walls. He was also a Youth Programs Coordinator at the Studio Museum in Harlem. There, his work with budding young artists received many accolades.
Russell was born and raised in Barbados, where he got his start in theatre and was a protégé of the late Earl Warner. He is a graduate of the Edna Manley School of Drama, Jamaica and holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.