October sees the UK release of Made In Jamaica, a new film by Jerome Laperrousaz exploring the forces that drive Jamaican dancehall culture.
Rather than trying to cover the entire history of reggae and dancehall, Made In Jamaica instead paints a powerful portrait of the characters involved in the past and present scene, and considers Jamaican music in relation to religion, sex, gender, violence, slavery and colonisation. At its heart are unbelievable performances from the likes of Elephant Man, Lady Saw, Capleton and Bounty Killer (whose ‘One Man’ is a big tune at FACT HQ right now).
A posting on the film’s official site elaborates:
"[Made In Jamaica] is the story of how a small island nation of only three million people took their pain and misery and turned those emotions into songs that resonate around the world. Reggae is Jamaica’s blues: a music of both desperation and hope.
"Reggae music sprang into life in the 70’s. It was the first time that a third world country had made its voice heard on such a large scale. Instantly recognizable, the reggae sound is a celebration of life itself. Now a new generation of reggae artists has emerged and its fathers are still in Jamaica.
"The Dance Hall, emerging from reggae, is drawing large crowds across the globe. At its origin, the Dance Hall concept is heavily influenced by religious overtones. Like rap music, Dance Hall’s message is powerful and straightforward, with lyrics about sex, violence, and social issues, including much on women’s rights."