If you like reggae music, you'll really like this film.
If you like reggae music, you'll really like this film. I saw it at sold-out screening at a French Film festival in Washington (the director and producers are French). The audience, including many Jamaicans, was very complimentary afterwards.
All but one of the music scenes were filmed live and the music is great. It concentrated on performers who still live in Jamaica. The director somehow got great access to many performances in Trenchtown and the other inner-city neighborhoods in Kingston that are off the beaten tourist path.
There was a mix of classic reggae (Third World; Bunny Wailer, who is Bob Marley's half brother; the sweet-voiced Gregory Isaacs; and the dynamic Toots and the Maytals), along with a group of contemporary male and female "dancehall" performers--who while respectful of their reggae elders--have their own raucous and often crude styles. But most of them are very compelling performers.
While it's true that the "documentary" aspects could have been a bit more organized (a narrator might have helped), the film cumulatively provides a seemingly true slice of life of just how important music is in the lives of Jamaicans and also how rough life is in the mean streets of Kingston.
I understand that this film still lacks an American distributor. Someone should see the potential and grab it!
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