The Enigma of Harold Sonny Ladoo

Year: 2024

Harold Sonny Ladoo was the first Trinidadian and the second Caribbean novelist published in Canada, yet he remains little known except among a group of devoted enthusiasts. No Pain Like This Body was released in 1972 by House of Anansi Press, edited by the press’s co-founder and Toronto’s first Poet Laureate Dennis Lee. It’s a vivid and poetic, yet devastating depiction of life during Indian indentureship. Ladoo’s second novel, Yesterdays, one of the queerest works of Caribbean fiction, was published in 1974. The same year his battered body was found by a roadside in Trinidad. He was 28. Beyond his literary achievements, Harold’s life and death remain mysterious, in part because he kept reinventing his biography.

The Enigma of Harold Sonny Ladoo draws on a 20-year-old archive of video interviews by Trinidadian filmmaker Christopher Laird, a founder of the legendary Trinidadian production company, Banyan. Laird spoke with Harold’s family, Trinidad intimates, and the CanLit luminaries who advanced Ladoo’s career in Toronto: Dennis Lee, Graeme Gibson, Jim Polk, and Peter Such. Shot in Trinidad and Toronto, the film pieces together the puzzle of Harold’s life and death. Authors Shani Mootoo, Kevin Jared Hosein, Andil Gosine, Ramabai Espinet and David Chariandy voice his ground-breaking fiction with animated drawings by artist Adam Williams.

Distributor: www.vtape.org

Year: 2024

Harold Sonny Ladoo was the first Trinidadian and the second Caribbean novelist published in Canada, yet he remains little known except among a group of devoted enthusiasts. No Pain Like This Body was released in 1972 by House of Anansi Press, edited by the press’s co-founder and Toronto’s first Poet Laureate Dennis Lee. It’s a vivid and poetic, yet devastating depiction of life during Indian indentureship. Ladoo’s second novel, Yesterdays, one of the queerest works of Caribbean fiction, was published in 1974. The same year his battered body was found by a roadside in Trinidad. He was 28. Beyond his literary achievements, Harold’s life and death remain mysterious, in part because he kept reinventing his biography.

The Enigma of Harold Sonny Ladoo draws on a 20-year-old archive of video interviews by Trinidadian filmmaker Christopher Laird, a founder of the legendary Trinidadian production company, Banyan. Laird spoke with Harold’s family, Trinidad intimates, and the CanLit luminaries who advanced Ladoo’s career in Toronto: Dennis Lee, Graeme Gibson, Jim Polk, and Peter Such. Shot in Trinidad and Toronto, the film pieces together the puzzle of Harold’s life and death. Authors Shani Mootoo, Kevin Jared Hosein, Andil Gosine, Ramabai Espinet and David Chariandy voice his ground-breaking fiction with animated drawings by artist Adam Williams.

Distributor: www.vtape.org