The Caribbean traditon 'Nine Night' is a blanket of expectation, thrown over the family house, covering all those within, and drawing relatives from far and wide. Those caught up must fight their way out, without hurting each other. 'Nine Night' brings unrelenting visitors: the doorbell going at 8 am and midnight, the mounds of food cooked, and drinks requested to ‘wet the throat.’ Recalling the deceased’s funny characteristics, and biggest mishaps, the easy acceptance that life goes on, even as the body lies next door in an open coffin.
In the film film Nine Nights, the story represents the pain of a life of unfulfilled moments, of bright lights just on the horizon never to be reached as the characters grapple with a sudden loss.
Reflecting on my Jamaican roots and traditions, in Nine Nights, the characters ultimately must learn that life continues, irrespective of the untimely death of loved ones. Losing, or leaving others behind is part of the process of growing up. This process involves compassion, guilt, forgiveness, and acceptance. It’s fundamental, uplifting, and in the end, a lesson that life must go on.