Words by Emily Shapiro—
As you all know, Jamaica celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Indepdendence in a few weeks and the country has planned some massive celebrations. If you can’t swing a trip over for the festivities—and you happen to be in New York—don’t stress because Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek is bringing a little bit of yard to us with their “Do the Reggae” film series. Named for the 1968 Toots and the Maytals song that was the first known track to use the term “reggae,” 14-film series runs from Thursday August 2 through Monday August 6 and will focus on music-centric films created between 1971 to 1983.
Opening the festival is Rockers, Ted Bafaloukos’ Robin Hood-inspired 1978 film featuring Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs and Jacob Miller. While that choice is a no-brainer—it’s pretty much the most seminal reggae-centric film there is— “Do the Reggae” will also feature some rarely screened gems like Alan Greenberg’s Land of Look Behind, Jeremy Marre’s Roots Rock Reggae and will close with the premiere of OnePeople, a crowd-sourced documentary produced by Justine Henzell (the late The Harder They Come director Perry Henzell’s daughter) which collected people’s expressions in various forms of what Jamaica means to them.. This homage to the rich cultural history of Jamaica is not to be missed, whether you are a reggae fanatic or a New Yorker just looking to escape the heat and pick up on a little Jamaican history. For more information and showtimes check the link: http://www.bam.org/film/2012/do-the-reggae