Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Must-See Cinema: Rockers 1978

This week I am proud to present 1978's Rockers, a semi-documentary look at the old-school Jamaican roots reggae culture.


This film, loosely based on that masterpiece of Italian neo-realism, Bicycle Thieves, shows a slice of daily life of the Rastafarian roots reggae culture, featuring many actual reggae musicians and a score that includes many of the greats: Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear. The soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission.

I first saw this at a local college film festival circa 1980 and was blown away by it. Then it disappeared, but thanks to the DVD revolution it's available on DVD from Netlix.

If you watch it, it's best to brush up on your Rasta/Patois-English first. Even though it is subtitled in more-or-less standard English, some things will still remain a mystery.

I wanted to include a video of Peter Tosh singing my favorite cut from the soundtrack, Steppin' Razor, but for some vague copyright reason, YouTube won't allow it to be embedded on any other websites, so you can see it here.

Highly recommended.