After her grandmother dies, 14-year-old Rain moves from a small Bahamian island to Nassau to live with her estranged mother in a slum that Rain’s less impoverished classmates call “the Graveyard.” Her mother, who is both a gambler and a crack addict (and—according to a crazed street preacher who is himself infected—possibly dying of AIDS), tries to fulfill her parental obligations by selling herself to pay for Rain’s high school tuition. Disappointed by this reunion, Rain joins the track team at the behest of her new mentor (played by The Shield’s CCH Pounder, whose Guyanese accent lends a pan-Caribbean element to the film), where she stands out in a positive way—a note of relief that nearly gets lost in the film’s brash overtones of failure and moral decay. As in real life, it feels like the odds are stacked against Rain even when she’s winning, and this is the real strength of Rain: It fosters social awareness without giving up its grit.
Friday, April 24, at 9 p.m. Also at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Both showings at Landmark’s E Street Cinema.