Hit and miss documentary about Sunsplash, Montego Bay 1983.
Was it that 1983 was not such a great year or is it something about festival films but this is just not that great for all but the most devoted of reggae fans. There are some good performances from the Skatalites, Mutabaruka and Rita Marley but there are a lot of very missable ones too.
Probably the best bit of the film involves Gil Scott-Heron and a very extensively improvised performance of The Bottle. Gil is from Jamaican parentage so this forms a nice link for the film. Related to this but not as successful by far is the Musical Youth segment. OK, everyone loved Pass the Dutchie when it came out but it has not aged well and the little mites put in a patchy performance live that just goes on and on.
Gregory Isaacs does his sex god thing to Night Nurse but puzzlingly walks off 2/3rds through the song. There then seems to be a mixture of cheering and jeering. Something similar happened 3 years later or so when he played at Sunsplash on Clapham Common. Anyone want to explain that to me?
Not bad, but not brilliant either.
Chalice – Pot Of Gold
Bankie Banx – Pour It All Out
The Skatalites – Freedom Sound
Alton Ellis – Black Man’s Pride
Gregory Isaacs – Night Nurse
Sugar Minott – Rough Ole Life (Babylon)
Gil Scott-Heron – The Bottle
Judy Mowatt – Slave Queen
Melody Makers – What A Plot
Rita Marley – One Draw
Musical Youth – Pass The Dutchie
Mutabaruka – Whey Mi Belang
Bankie Banx – Prince Of Whales
Third World – 96 In The shade
Third World – Try Jah Love
What’s Left To Say? – Poem by Robert Mugge
Catalogue No: 20001VUK
Release date: 21 April 2003
Running Time: 105 minutes
Direct Video Distribution