Made In Jamaica
Following the template of Buena Vista Social Club this music doc steadicams its way round the ghettos of Kingston, exploring the variety of music on offer: the venerable reggae scene, represented by Bunny Wailer and the like; and the younger dancehall scene, home to Elephant Man, Lady Saw and Bogle. The violent death of this last figure, a dancer on the popular Wedi Wedi scene, kickstarts the film, setting a dual tone of riotous partying and sombre reflection — as old-timer Gregory Isaacs puts it, ‘Saturday a carnival/Sunday a funeral’.
The film stays largely impartial, while provoking the viewer into forming their own opinion with some stark cutting: for example, Elephant Man discussing his Christian upbringing, then inviting three buxom ladies onstage to simulate rough doggy-style sex. An essential guide to Jamaica’s music scene post-Marley, whose holy name is invoked at every turn. Extras consist of additional performance material, including Toots (he of The Maytals) serenading some school kids.