Words by Jesse Serwer
It seems like more reggae-themed documentaries have emerged this year than in almost every prior year combined. The latest of these, The Story of Lovers Rock, is playing in UK theaters starting this Friday. The feature-length film, about the uniquely British take on romantic reggae that developed and thrived in the late 1970s and early ’80s, comes from Bajan-British director Menelik Shabazz, whose last and only previous movie, 1981’s Burning an Illusion, was one of the first feature films set within England’s Caribbean community. The Story of Lovers Rock, which contains interviews, archival footage and re-enactments as well as comedic sketches about the period, highlights the titular genre’s role as a coping mechanism against racial tension and riots across the UK. Also on the movie’s agenda is showing how lovers rock offered a more female-oriented counterpoint to the male dominated roots scene, with lady artists like Louisa Marks and Janet Kay leading the way with some of its biggest hits. Watch the trailer below, and visit the movie’s website for more info on screenings.