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SXSW 2021: “Ludi”


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sometimes immigrants bring fear and insecurity to citizens by birth in highly developed countries. That’s why immigrants are seen as a threat. But how much do we know about their hard work, sacrifice or the life they left behind to do a job many would not do?

Ludi (Shein Mompremier) works tirelessly at the Hampton Lake Nursing Center in Miami. She is exhausted yet continues testing her limits because she never has enough money to send back to Haiti, as the room she rents consumes most of her paycheck. When she agrees to take a job of a private caretaker, scheduled to finish by midnight, the woman will find herself on the verge of an emotional breakdown. She does her best to help an elderly man, George (Alan Myles Heyman), to be clean, fed and rested. But he is also determined to unleash hell on Ludi, as he resists the care she wants to provide.

“I am still chasing a better life. But in this country, it looks like I’ll die before I reach it,” she tells it in a recorded audiocassette to be sent to her favorite cousin in Haiti. You can tell by looking at Ludi that she is completely burned out, yet continues working as hard as she can because she promised to send money for the best dress Fafa can wear. But is the dress worth Ludi putting her life on the line, working day and night (literally)? Her experience with George will certainly teach her a lesson.

“Ludi” is an exceptional film that showcases the life of an immigrant in America. It captures the difficulty of living the American dream. A dream that kills so many without letting them sense it. Ludi’s experience with George shows her what it means to work 24/7 where she will mostly be judged and blamed, because that’s the nature of her job. However, as we near the end of the short, Ludi must sit back and think why she puts so much unnecessary pressure on herself. And if she has to – what is her expectation? Will she achieve something if she has to sacrifice so much for so little? Nonetheless, it is a journey Ludi goes through to emerge either as a winner or loser, depends how you look at it.

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