Big screen, little screen review: Rockers

A rasta man playing a guitar
A rasta man playing a guitar (Photo credit: Brett Sayles)

After more than 20 years after its glory days, it’s amazing to comprehend that reggae has not been eminent, or captured, in many more films. Reggae has really only two films, The Harder They Come from 1972 (lead role Jimmy Cliff on the soundtrack) and Rockers released in the United Kingdom in 1979. Back in the day, the British had taken on (and accepted) reggae and launched it to a large extent to a bigger listenership.

Rockers has continued to exist in good health. This is a flick where mood is everything, and the storyline is about robbing from the rich and giving to the have nots. Rockers has a Jamaican setting telling the story of a drummer, Leroy ‘Horse mouth’ Wallace (in concert, akin to other artistes in the film, a story of himself) who, talented though he is, is mightily fed up with being scammed by the local music labels of the time. Incapable and reluctant to endure on infrequent recording assembly and appearance, Horseman decided to buy a flashy motorbike and issue records himself. This move eventually landed him in hot water as he is brutally beaten, and his flashy motorbike stolen.

Leroy Wallace humorously mirrors the common relaxed attitude of the Jamaican men, but not so when his willpower to change things erupts. Rockers undoubtedly communicates the pulse of Jamaican life during the 70s – the ease of friendship or fragile affairs with women. The soundtrack features artistes such as Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Third World and Peter Tosh. Rockers holds the number four spot among the top five movies made in Jamaica.

In Theatres

House of Gucci – When an outsider from humble beginnings marries into the Gucci family, her ambition begins to unravel their legacy in a wild spiral of unfaithfulness, corruption and ultimately…murder.

Encanto – A young girl, the only member of her family without magical powers, faces difficulties.

Eternals – A race of people that lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.

David R. Muhammad is a former morning host on Visions Television and a former member of the Palace Amusement Media Movie Review Committee. He is currently the Student Protocol Officer of the Nation of Islam’ study group – Jamaica.

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