1970’s Jamaica Explodes in “Better Mus’ Come” – Caribbean Film Series, Sept. 30th at BAMcinématek
Gangs versus government drama continues partnership with the Caribbean Film Academy and BAMcinématek. Director Storm Saulter, in attendance for post-screening Q&A.
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August 20, 2015/Brooklyn, NY – Turbulent times rocked the Caribbean during the 1970’s. Many of the newly independent countries while still working to establish viable governments, had to also deal with a sudden worldwide economic downturn. In Jamaica, two key political factions violently clashed as the urban poor demanded better, and more equal, standards of living.
Inspired by these historical events surrounding the 1978 Green Bay Massacre, Jamaican filmmaker Storm Saulter portrays a taut political drama set against a passionate young romance, in his feature film debut, “Better Mus’ Come.”
In the late 1970’s Kingston, the People’s National Party and the Jamaica Labor Party, enlist the support of gangs to enforce their policies and advance their agendas. Community leader and widowed father, Young Ricky (Sheldon Shepherd), leads one such wayward gang, whose members must regularly scavenge and steal to survive. Amid the chaos, he meets Kamala (Nicole Sky Grey, Restless City), who belongs to a community controlled by the other party, and they instantly connect despite the dangers of being together. Will their love and newfound freedom triumph, or will more ferocious forces win the day?
A stirring cameo by Roger Guenveur Smith (Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing), as the Prime Minister, provides the focus for this fictionalized dramatization of events. Although Better Mus’ Come was first was released nationwide in 2013, by the African-American Film Releasing Movement (AFFRM), according to Justen Blaize of the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), a big screen focus of the film in Brooklyn, “provides local audiences, especially Caribbean ones, an opportunity to experience the film for the first time.” Romola Lucas of CaFA continues that, “Older Jamaican films have a storied history. Our aim is to build films like Better Mus’ Come and filmmakers like Storm Saulter into the collective memory of diasporic Caribbean audiences and general cinema lovers alike. Screening the film at BAM we hope will do just that and help make the film a part of Brooklyn’s Caribbean and film culture.”
Co-presented by BAMcinématek and the Brooklyn Cinematic Collective, Better Mus’ Come, will screen at BAM Rose Cinemas on Wednesday, September 30th, at 7:30pm. A Q&A with director Storm Saulter will follow. The short film Egress (20 min – 2014) by Bajan writer, producer, and star Sean Field, precedes the film.
For ticket information go to http://www.bam.org/film/2015/BetterMusCome. For overall information about the Caribbean Film Series and the Caribbean Film Academy, contact Romola Lucas, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Brooklyn Cinema Collective’s, Curtis Caesar John, at email@example.com.
BETTER MUS’ COME
Directed by Storm Saulter, with Sheldon Shepherd, Sky Nicole Grey, Duane Pusey, and Roger Guenveur Smith
104 minutes | Jamaica
In late 1970s Kingston, Jamaica, the two major political parties enlist the support of gangs to enforce their policies and advance their agendas. Community leader Ricky (Shepherd) leads one such wayward gang, whose members must regularly scavenge and steal to survive. He meets Kamala (Grey, Restless City) amid the chaos and they instantly connect despite the dangers of belonging to opposing gangs. A stirring cameo by Roger Guenveur Smith (Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing) as the Prime Minister provides the focus for this fictionalized dramatization of events surrounding the 1978 Green Bay Massacre.
Written & produced by Sean Field, directed by Michael Goodin and Christina Voros
18:26 min | USA/Barbados
A New York City homeless man is forced to evolve from his past to transcend the painful sacrifice of the present so he can bravely grasp the challenge of a lifetime to create his future.
About the Caribbean Film Academy
Established in 2012, The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of Caribbean filmmaking and filmmakers, in the region and the diaspora. CaFA’s work is focused on promoting and sharing the art of storytelling through film from the unique perspective of the Caribbean.
About The Brooklyn Cinema Collective
The Brooklyn Cinema Collective (BCC), is helmed by Curtis Caesar John, a media-maker and arts manager operating out of New York City. Under BCC, Curtis founded the Bedford-Stuyvesant microcinema The Luminal Theater, which provides screening space and curated film programs with a focus on African diasporic cinema. Most recently, Curtis served as Festival Director of New Voices in Black Cinema, a film festival he helped create, that takes place at BAMcinématek and brought audiences the NYC premieres of such films as Neil Drumming’s Big Words and Alain Gomis’ Tey.
The four-screen BAM Rose Cinemas (BRC) opened in 1998 to offer Brooklyn audiences alternative and independent films that might not play in the borough otherwise, making BAM the only performing arts center in the country with two mainstage theaters and a multiplex cinema. In July 1999, beginning with a series celebrating the work of Spike Lee, BAMcinématek was born as Brooklyn’s only daily, year-round repertory film program. BAMcinématek presents new and rarely seen contemporary films, classics, work by local artists, and festivals of films from around the world, often with special appearances by directors, actors, and other guests. BAMcinématek has not only presented major retrospectives by major filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Manoel de Oliveira, Shohei Imamura, Vincente Minnelli (winning a National Film Critics’ Circle Award prize for the retrospective), Kaneto Shindo, Luchino Visconti, and William Friedkin, but it has also introduced New York audiences to contemporary artists such as Pedro Costa and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In addition, BAMcinématek programmed the first US retrospectives of directors Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Winding Refn, Hong Sang-soo, and Andrzej Zulawski.
BAM Rose Cinemas is located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place).
Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue; D, M, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue Train: Long Island Railroad to Flatbush Avenue
Bus: B25, B26, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 all stop within three blocks of BAM
Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM
For ticket and BAM bus information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org. For group ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org