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The 10 Best Jamaican Films
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by Nemonie Cassells
Lights! Camera! Action!! Jamaica… “Wi likkle but wi tallawah (we are small but we a force to be reckoned with)
I tell you… whatever we put ours hands on, absolutely anything we decide to do, we do it, and we DO IT WELL!
Come on now, you have to give it to us “mon”! Look at this…
Look at the olympics, we did not enter every event and were far from entering even half the events that available, but, I say BUT, the ones we did enter… wi tek it tuh dem (we brought it)!!
Need I say more? Ok, ok let me quote Bob Marley on this one, “One good thing about (our) music… when it hits you feel no pain!”
All over the world people crave and talk about OUR jerk chicken or pork, and it can NEVER be duplicated.
So its only natural that when we decide to touch the “big screen” we come out banging!
There are not a lot of Jamaican movies out there, I’m referring to movies that where written, produced and acted by Jamaicans about our society, however the ones that we do have are a must watch!
I believe the first Jamaican film I watched was, The Harder They Come with Jimmy Cliff and I loved it from beginning to the end!
Its about a poor Jamaican man named Ivan (Jimmy Cliff) who decided the life of crime was best for him after trying to make a honest living and failed.
Even today I appreciate the talents of both the actors and writers of this movie. This is because they shed light on life in rural Jamaica back in the 70s. I would recommend anyone to watch it, you will not be disappointed.
Now, one of my favorite Jamaican movie is Smile Orange (An old Comedy classic). This movie had me laughing from start to finish ( I just love to laugh)!
It follows the day to day movements of the main character Ringo, who’s a hotel waiter and con man!
I had the pleasure for remaking this in the form of a play for my Theatre Arts class in high school using the book “Old Story Time and Smile Orange”.
Top 10 (Best) Jamaica Movie List
And so if you press me, I have to say the top ten Jamaica Movies are:
- Smile Orange
- The Harder They Come
- Dancehall Queen
- Third World Cop
- Better Must Come
- One Love
- Glory to Glorianna
- Cool Runnings (Even tough its not technically a Jamaican film, It is about our bobsled team so It made my list)
- Country Man, and
- Shottas, my absolute favourite, with Ky-Mani Marley(Biggs) and Spragga Benz (Wayne) being the main characters - supported by the very talented Paul Campbell as Mad Max!
The story line surrounds the deported Wayne, Mad Max and Biggs who participated in organized crimes in capital city of Jamaica, Kingston.
After losing his little brother, who was killed by the police officer Laing, Wayne and his two friends decided that Jamaica was not the place to be and that getting back to the US was the only way they could make some real cash and live big.
They ended up getting fake documents from their politician “friend” but killed him afterwards because betrayed them by sending out a hit on their heads.
After they returned to the United States, the movie took the most exciting turn. Drugs, money, sex and partying paled compared to the amount of killings Mad Max did.
Need less to say, I ended up crying at the of this film! I wont say why, you will have to watch it yourself!
Other Great Jamaican Movies...
Here's a few more popular Jamaican movies you may be interested in as well:
- Ghett’a Life
- Rude Boy: The Jamaican Don
- Wah Do Dem
- Kingston Paradise
- Out the Gate
- The Lunatic
By the way, do bear in mind that although YouTube typically has them, the quality is not always great, but of course you can subscribe to many of the popular movie sites online, including Amazon Video watch and enjoy your Jamaica movie.
So there you go!
Grab your pop corn, get some sodas or a few cans of beers and call up your bestie and enjoy a great Jamaica movie night!
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