In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence, BAMcinématek presents this 14-film series dedicated to the country's unique and widely influential musical tradition. Throughout decades of political unrest in Jamaica and racial violence against Caribbean immigrants in Europe and North America, reggae in all its forms has endured as an essential conduit for social protest, individual expression, and spiritual exploration. It has also single-handedly paved the way for rap/hip-hop, the remix (invented in the early 70s in Jamaica), not to mention later cross-pollinated genres like drum and bass, reggaeton, and dubstep.
The series includes films starring or featuring priceless footage of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Dekker, Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, and many more!
A revelatory document of the hand-to-mouth life of musicians in a shantytown.
A document of Jamaica in flux after the death of Bob Marley.
Before Bob Marley made it big stateside, this pulp tale unveiled reggae to US audiences.
An antebellum black western starring Sidney Poitier in his directorial debut.
Horace Ové’s remarkably prescient documentary examines the societal impact of reggae .
Tourists crash their plane and get nursed back to life by a Rasta superhero.
A Rasta sound system leader fights racial inequality to defend his musical ambitions.
A comprehensive history of reggae, with narration by The Clash producer Mikey Dread.
A Rastafarian-themed episode of Deep Roots Music, plus a Soul Syndicate documentary.
Famed music documentary producer Jeremy Marre's snapshot of the reggae scene at its peak.
A documentary about one of the most important live reggae events ever.
A documentary comprised of submissions from people sharing what Jamaica means to them.