Based on a short story, by award-winning Haitian-American writer, Edwidge Danticat and adapted by Easmanie Michel, Caroline's Wedding explores the immigrant experience and the struggles of a hard-working Haitian family to a new like in Brooklyn in the 1990s.
This contemporary family drama features a strong-willed mother and two devoted sisters. Grace, the shy and sensible older sister, is the backbone of her family. American-born Caroline, the younger sister, resists Haitian traditions and embraces life as a modern American woman.
Their devoted, but often over-bearing mother, and Caroline rely on the thoughtful and diplomatic Grace to resolve ongoing battles between Ma's traditional Haitian values and Caroline's American-style independence.
Caroline's upcoming wedding to a young African-American janitor, her mother does not approve of, drives this universal family drama. Every parent, no matter what their background, can relate to Ma's concern that her daughter is settling for the wrong husband. Mama believes that Caroline's missing forearm, due to birth defect, is the reason she's marrying the first man who asked.
The film begins with a landmark event in Grace's life--receiving her American citizenship and applying for her U.S. passport. Shortly after Grace becomes a proud American, her beloved, deceased father's spirit appears to her in several magical realism dream sequences.
Graces's vision of her father, who died years ago, force her to deal with the conflicts arising from being an immigrant balancing traditional Haitian values with life in America.
Curious about her father and his decision to divorce Mama in order to marry an American woman who helps their family emigrate to the U.S., Grace is frustrated when Mama repeatedelt refuses to tell her anything about her father.
Grace finally approaches Madame Jean-Pierre, the local boutique owner her father married in order to secure his American citizenship. It was this marriage that gave Papa the ability to bring his original Haitian family to the U.S.
The long-simmering jealously between Ma and Madame Jean-Pierre amplifies the family drama, despite Mama's unwillingness to confront the woman who married her husband for a fee.
Often in the shadow of her bolder, outspoken younger sister, Grace finally finds a friend in Zack, a local activist protesting the treatment of Haitian immigrants. His strength gives her the courage to speak out and she eventually takes a big risk by reading her work at an event in Brooklyn.