Allowing musicians to tell their stories in their own words, Reggae Films in the Park a series of events hosted during Reggae Month, transformed Emancipation Park into a live theatre celebrating some of the island’s top musical pioneers in a documentary titled Inna De Yard, Soul of Jamaica last Friday night (Feb. 21).
The film, which depicts a united group of Jamaican music veterans carefully illustrates a poignant tale of raw authentic personalities and a sense of urgency to recognise the significance of reggae and its impact globally.
Directed by British Filmmaker, Peter Webber, the timely historical film captures iconic artists which include Ken Boothe, Kiddus I, Cedric Myton, Winston McAnuff, and Judy Mowatt, who individually shared deep unplugged sentiments of their engagement with the reggae and music ecosystems.
The film recollected personal and up-close interviews that won over the hearts of viewers who were thrust into an edutainment session.
“…that is what these evenings are about, they are to help us remember the greatness of our culture”— Film Festival Director, Barbara Blake-Hannah
Festival director for the series of Reggae Films in the Park, Barbara Blake-Hannah says the project came in wake of recognising the need to pay tribute to those who have been instrumental to our culture.
“Reggae has a long history. Reggae is not just today, reggae goes way back to the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. It is our history and it is our culture and a night like tonight is to show you stuff that you didn’t even know about or heard about and the great music they made long ago.
“People like Ken Boothe, Kiddus I, Cedric Myton, Winston McAnuff and everyone – everybody knows them, but they don’t know how far back they are coming from. So, that is what these evenings are about, they are to help us remember the greatness of our culture,” she told BUZZ.
Speaking with the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Olivia Grange she told us that the film teaches and offers young people a way how to actualize their skills through the perspectives shared by each musical icon.
“It is important that young people appreciate our rich history and heritage that we have and that they respect those who have cleared and made a path for them. Also, that they can learn from what is being offered and with their talent and the wider opportunities that exist for young people, they should seize the moment and make use of it,” she said.
Musical legend, Kiddus I shared that he is pleased with the overall presentation of the documentary, while he notes that it is a great way to preserve historical periods.
“It is a continuation for me from Rockers in the ’70s that captured all the artists in that period which many have died and this is a way of capturing the artist both young and old who are in the business. It documents the period coming up to now and I think they did a good job with it,” he told BUZZ.