Trinidad, and most of the Caribbean, is often portrayed as a kind of heaven on earth full of sun, rum and sandy beaches. The other side of the country, the one the tourists never see, is largely kept away from prying Western eyes. In Damian Marcano debut feature, God Loves The Fighter, he takes us on a poetical journey through the underbelly of Port of Spain. Unlike fellow Trinidadian film Welcome to Warlock, it’s not an overly-violent tale of redemption but more of a lyrical story.

Homeless rap-poet King Curtis (Lou Lyons) narrates events as we follow the lives of a handful of people who inhabit the Trinidadian underclass. Charlie (Muhammad Muwakil) is struggling to stay on the right path but lack of money sends him in the direction of childhood friend, and gang leader, Stone (Abdi Waithe). Dinah (Jamie Lee Phillips is a prostitute who is concentrating on staying alive and keeping out of danger. Putao (Darren Cheewah) runs every trick in the book – drugs, brothels and gambling dens, you name it. Chicken (Zion Henry) is a young boy having to put food on the table instead of going to school.

God Loves The Fighter is beautifully shot, utilising a mix of colours and filters. Marcano uses a mix of styles, making good use of close-up and different angles to instil a sense of realism, energy and edginess. Many of the cast aren’t professional actors and this lack of training also adds an another aspect to the authenticity. Gold Loves The Fighter is a vital, vibrant and febrile journey into the melting pot of the Port of Spain underworld, telling everyday stories with a touch of panache.

God Loves The Fighter is available to watch on Filmdoo now.