On October 7 many theatre enthusiasts including a few good Jamaican, ‘soldiers at heart’ stormed the entrance to Carib Theatre, Cross Roads for ‘Better Mus Come’ – the premiere.
After about two hours of exciting chit and chatter, they easily flowed into Theatre # 1 for what was to be the reflection of Jamaican life in the ghetto, and how one youngster miraculously escapes death, and we hope a life of crime for better, who knows where. Ironically his friend is the one who is gang leader for “Better”.
By an audience of mostly middle class and higher, the film was well-received.
Patron Maurice Bryan afterwards said “Fantastic videography and photography”, when asked for his thoughts. “Its among the best of the list of Jamaican films I’ve seen so far.”
After all Storm Saulter, its director slowed down realities, so that bit-by-bit viewers at all levels could identify to issues affecting Jamaica in the 1970s, and muse on possible after effects experienced today. Polarisation of a nation through cold war, extortion, drugs, rape, peer and political pressure, gang culture, treachery, loyalty and betrayal, and a few more chosen issues are brought to the fore in a plot. In the film is a five-year-old boy, son of the lead character, who is used to emphasise the effects of gang life, political strife on Jamaica’s family life, children, and future.
In brief it was a successful summary, and despite its few hiccups well executed in achieving its objectives. One clear objective is to expose Jamaica’s culture, at least in certain sectors of the country, stirring an attitude for “Betta”.
It’s the second major movie effort from Jamaica in a claimed 40 years, and hits the theatres for public viewing Heroes Day weekend starting October 13.
Sheldon ‘Ricky’ Shepherd, the main character dies in the end, sending the lesson home about dying by the gun if you live by the gun. His role is still contemporary in relation to Jamaica, as Jamaican youth still take to crime as the solution when being ‘victimised by unjust acts’. In the film, Ricky’s his young wife was murdered and he is constantly coining unscrupulous ways to enforce political loyalty to a party that has treated him “right”, even despite incarceration for his actions.
Other members of the cast are Nicole ‘Kemala’ Grey (former model acting as Rick’s woman); Everaldo Creary; Ricardo Orgill, and seasoned Hollywood actor Roger Guenveur Smith(Prime Minister), Boyd Grant (Kapow).
The film must be seen, although it somehow highlights in bold one party over the other as the main perpetrators of political crime. Although this was done in major reference of the “Green Bay Massacre in1978”, that might be something to look into when considering the effect on ultimate international audiences.
The only other weak element, that needs no deliberating however, is the end, and telling you now will perhaps influence you not to want to go. So there is not much telling except it could be better executed and thought through.
[Notwithstanding, the strong points including actor support, numbered convincing scenes, knack for acting, colour, film editing are a must see evidence of the uncanny talents of Jamaicans on their way to better in all respects and especially progress in the international film industry.]
Perhaps the acting was made easy and natural for almost-all Jamaican team seasoned so well in either news or by immersion in particular events still happening today, or maybe it was a result for the passion to see “Better mus Come”. The acting was a class not to be easily outdone, overcoming the slight degree of challenge by specific poorly written lines, and haste scenes at just a few corners.
Those in attendance to support the Headline Entertainment team, producer Paul Bucknor, director Storm Saulter and his production team include :
Wayne Chen, Anthony Cruz, Rozi Chung, Empress, media, Minister of Government Andrew Holness, Maurice Bryan, members of the visual arts industry such as Susanne Fredricks, Bruce Hart, Alisia Lawson, Aldain Reid, and other special invited guests.
The film followed a brief programme, and preceded an after-celebratory party at The Pub, Devon House. One thing is sure on all accounts for Jamaica ‘Better Mus Come,’ if the young, gifted and determined have their way.
- Three years, in the making, Better Mus’ Come took six weeks to shoot and capture scenes from inner-city community of Sandy Park, Kingston Harbour and other parts of Jamaica’s capital, using an all Jamaican cast and crew.
- Movie and Trailer Produced by Firefly Films
- Betta Mus Come is Jamaica tongue for Better Must Come
About the Author
Over 13 years as a journalist, Anthea is a trained paralegal, and artist. She combines her skills including teaching, spanish, photography, editing, and experiences to feature arts, creativity to offer consultations, and other services. She owns antheamcgibbon.com, media website on arts, creativity, culture, and her paintings are available online and at Gallart.com. Contact her at 876-530-5744 or 305-648-6963 or anthea@antheamcgibbon and/or [email protected]