UC Berkeley Library


Before Reggae Hit the Town.

Discussion of the roots of reggae and ska in the music and dance of Jamaica's traditional African religion, with scenes of religious ceremonies and sacrifices; also contains scenes of Rastafarians and their music. Filmed and recorded in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica. c1990. 22 min.

Caribbean Crucible (Repercussions: A Celebration of African Influenced Music; 6)

From Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, this film traces the ties that bind the music of coastal Africa to the music of Europe and the Caribbean. Spirited performances move through a variety of Afro-European fusions to the tough and exhilirating sounds of urban Jamaican popular music, including reggae and deejay. Dist.: Films Media Group. 1984. 60 min.

Get up, Stand Up. (Americas; 8)

This program focuses on the issue of sovereignty of Caribbean and Latin American nations, looks at Jamaica and Colombia. Examines political, economic and social problems in these countries and the effects of intervention by the United States in their affairs. 1993. 60 min. [preservation copy];

H-2 Worker.

From WWI to the 1990s, 10,000 Caribbean men were chosen yearly by American sugar corporations to harvest sugar cane for six months in Florida under temporary "H-2" visas. This film exposes the brutal, systematic exploitation of these Jamaican guest workers by the Florida sugar cane industry. Today this documentary provides an invaluable resource to understanding the current debate over guest worker provisions of immigration legislation.

Life and Debt

Jamaica became an independent country from Great Britain in 1962. It is the land of sea, sand and sun ... but it is also a prime example of the complexities of economic globalization on the world's developing countries. Effectively portrays the relationship between Jamaican poverty and the practices of international lending agencies while driving home the devasting consequences of globalization. Based on "A small place" by Jamaica Kincaid. Director, Stephanie Black. 2001. 86 min.
Reviews and articles:

Out of Africa (Portrait of the Caribbean; 2).

A sense of Africa pervades the Caribbean, but in Haiti it feels like Africa itself. The history and culture of Haiti and Jamaica are compared. c1993. 45 min.


Offers a funny, complex picture of life among poor Jamaican Rastafarians, including cogent commentary about the music business. A raggae celebration woven into a comedy about Rastafarian drummer Wallace's efforts to crack open the Jamaican music establishment backed by the expansive rhythm of reggae. Performers: Leroy "Horseman" Wallace, Richard "Dirty Harry" Hall, Jacob Miller, Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, Kiddus I, Robbie Shakespeare, Leroy Smart, Big Youth, Dillinger. Originally released as a motion picture in 1977. 99 min.

Roots, Rock, Reggae: Inside the Jamaican Music Scene.

Reggae music mostly originated from a few poor districts in Kingston, Jamaica. This film is a street-level tour of the Kingston music scene originally filmed in 1977, a flashpoint year for reggae and Jamaica. The importance of the African-derived music and culture of Rastafarians surfaces in drumming-and-chanting scenes in this film which features reggae performances, interviews and studio scenes with the originators of reggae music and rhythms.

Shades of Freedom (Portrait of the Caribbean; 7).

A Caribbean identity cannot be found by simply discovering the past. Host Stuart Hall visits Jamaica and Antigua in search of the new Caribbean identity. c1992. 45 min. [preservation copy]

Stepping Razor Red X: The Peter Tosh Story.

Packed with rare concert footage, interviews, and narration by Peter Tosh himself from his personal taped diaries, this film traces the rise of the Reggae musician from the slums of Kingston to international superstardom, and probes the unanswered questions concerning his brutal murder. 1992. 103 min.