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In an off-beat nuanced film, Rocksy, a small-time hustler, journeys into chaos to steal a car while his lady friend Rosie hangs a watercolor painting in their modest room and dreams of peace. The fight to survive their broken dreams and aspirations forces them to commit a crime that changes their lives forever. Shot on the streets of Kingston where poverty, beauty and desperation collide, this Jamaican story transcends its Island locale to become a universal story of people whose poverty seems to trap them in a life where reckless acts appear the only road to an elusive better life.
My review on the Jamaican film Kingston Paradise Kingston Paradise opened at Palace Amusement Cinemas across Jamaica for the first time on Wednesday June 15, 2016; it's the films first theatrical release. It won three international awards, 'Best Audience Award' in the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival 2013 in Toronto, also 'Programmers award for Best Narrative Feature' in the Pan African Film Festival 2014 in Los Angeles and finally, 'Best Diaspora Feature' in the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2014 from Nigeria, which is amazing. It is the first time a filmmaker from the English speaking Caribbean has won this prestigious 'South South' award. As the lead actor Christopher 'Johnny' Daley walked into the Cinema, he got a standing ovation. I was then anxious to see the movie and hoped that it was not going to be just another blood-shed gun touting Jamaican 'flick.' The writer and director Mary Wells seemed elated to have the movie shown in the cinemas in Jamaica for the first time and with that breathe she thanked everyone for their support before the film even started. Kingston Paradise is not the typical Jamaican movie. Not, at all. If you are expecting to see blood-shed from all angles you will be disappointed. Kingston Paradise has moved from the norms and stigmas that people generally affix to movies coming out of Jamaica to something spectacular and refreshing. It is an unpretentious, fun, serious, off-beat tale that truly inspires. Kingston Paradise is soft and is about a man and a woman dreaming of leaving the Ghetto. It speaks to some of the many challenges inner city people face, but always manages to rise above it. The film explores fairness, mistakes, forgiveness and loyalty. What I like about Kingston Paradise is the REALNESS. I had a struggle with the supporting actor 'Rosie', but I learnt from watching the film that was her character and how the director wanted her to perform. She's subtle, calm and very strong but I wanted her to be much more aggressive so as to be able to handle the lead, Rocksy. After watching the entire movie her character was only befitting. I would recommend anyone to go see Kingston Paradise. I am not saying it will be the best movie you have ever seen, but it will be one of the best Jamaican movies you have seen.
Nickoyon Brown Script writer,
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