The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song # 32

The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song

09:15, Sunday 16th June, CMB 1&2

rai 32 the-bastard-sings-the-sweetest-song

  • Director/Anthropologist: Christy Garland
  • Year of Release: 2012
  • Duration: 71 mins
  • Country of Production: Canada/Denmark
  • Location: Guyana
  • Ethnic Group: Afroguyanese
  • Language: English/Creole (English)


The Bastard, using direct cinema style, introduces us to the Smith family in Georgetown, Guyana where both Muscle, and his mother Mary, each struggle to fight the family demons of violence and alcoholism, bringing them into conflict with each other.

As much as it’s a story about family and Muscle’s flawed but brave attempts to care for his mother, Christy Garland’s sensitive film is also a study of class struggle in Guyana. The conflict between Muscle and Mary is at once tragic and hopeful as both mother and son, despite their differences, share a resilient approach to life.

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Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival will be held from Thursday 13 June to Sunday 16 June 2013 in Edinburgh, hosted by National Museums Scotland and the STAR consortium. Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) is a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Over 60 new films will be screened alongside a conference 'New Observations' and a selection of special events and workshop about art & anthropology and the use of archival film.

The RAI Film Festival is held in collaboration with the Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.

Our Sponsors

The Festival gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from:

UDDA NMS SSGS ED Unversity of Aberdeen StAndrews WILEY