Words, Photos and Video by Martei Korley
[UPDATE: LargeUp is presenting the official US premiere of Better Mus Come at Lincoln Center on Feb. 16, 2012. Get your tickets and more info here.] I first met Storm while on assignment in Kingston for Trace Magazine‘s Jamaica issue, by the pool of the Hilton Hotel. Surrounded by cool creative people, the summer of ’05 lent its own special magic to the scene. Jah Cure had a top song in rotation on Hot 97, and Turbulence was storming up international charts with 77Klash’s groundbreaking punk-infused production on “Notorious.” Storm’s casual and humble demeanor belied his talent, but such is often the case with truly gifted people. He contributed a stellar photo of then Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mark Shields for the issue. Very memorable indeed, and in hindsight a precursor of greater things to come.
Storm, who is from a well-known creative family, went to film school in NYC. However, he decided to relocate to Jamaica to hone his skills and that was a good thing. Jamaican cinema has been in need of a poignant point of view for years. Perry Henzel’s The Harder They Come came out almost 40 years ago and subsequent releases have often felt more like stage plays rather than cinema. When hanging out with friends in Negril in the summer of ’08, I had the privilege of watching the first rough-cut of Better Mus Come – Storm Saulter’s first feature. There is often a lingering apprehension when watching and critiquing the work of your peers, what if it is not up to par? Rarely have I been so positively surprised. The movie incorporated the very best of Jamaican cinema, full of references to the geopolitical history of the Caribbean. All this, while infusing it with the pure excitement of great acting and creative cinematography. A very unique and honest story, this movie is decidedly not about pop culture. This period piece will undoubtedly draw comparisons to City of God due to it’s political content and guerrilla casting.
In short, this film is not to be missed and LargeUp is all over it! The official premiere in Jamaica is happening on October 7th, the greater public will have to wait until the 13th for their chance to see this extraordinary work. Meanwhile, check our exclusive interview with the man himself right here. Large Up yuhself Mr. Saulter!