The Harder They Come (Dir. Perry Henzell, Jamaica, 1972)
Jamaica's first feature, and the one against which others are measured. The plot – poor country boy seeks fortune in city – is archetypal, but Henzell cleverly turns our admiration for hero Ivan (Jimmy Cliff in incendiary form) into revulsion, as the film shifts through melodrama, comedy and musical into tragedy. Immortal movie moments – "You think the hero can be dead before the last reel?" scoffs Ivan at one point – and a stunning soundtrack led by Cliff's title song make this a five-star classic.
Rockers (Dir. Ted Bafaloukos, Jamaica, 1979)
A "Dreadsploitation" flick that's now a vibrant time capsule of reggae's halcyon days. Drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace plays a hapless muso caught up in Kingston's music wars. The plot's paper thin, but there's a gallery of great cameo appearances – Jacob Miller and Gregory Isaacs