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Man, it has been a long time since I last watched Rockers, but I decided to watch it again recently and it reigns supreme as the BEST movie to learn Jamaican Slang and Patois. It stands out among the other Jamaican films produced before or after.
Rockers is the 1977 film by Greek Director, Theodoros Bafaloukos filmed in Jamaica about a band of Rastas that love reggae, having fun and fighting the forces of Babylon aka the “uptown top rankings”. The movie follows drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace as he gets into different adventures everyday with his rasta friends. Some of his friends are reggae legends such as Jacob Miller, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Lee Scratch Perry and many more greats. Any movie with such legends would not be complete if it didn’t performances by some of these artists. Both Lee Scratch Perry and Jacob Miller do performances that are brief, but invaluable. The soundtrack alone makes the movie worth watching.
Although the movie is fun and has great music, there are several other reasons why its a shining star among Jamaican Movies. The introduction is classic. The movie starts out with a scene of Nyabinghi Drumming, one of the foundations of Rastafari Culture and Reggae. From there, the movie gets started and one of the things that people learning jamaican slang and patois will like is that the entire movie is in Jamaican Patois. Not only do you get the accent, pronunciation and words, you also get the body language and context of certain things. Now, the movie was filmed over 25 years ago, so some of the words are dated, but the essence of patois and rasta is still well captured in the movie.
This is the type of movie you watch every day or two to get familiar with the sound of Patois and some of the expressions. For example, CHA Mon…you can read that in a book, but to see the context in which that phrase is used can only be capture in person or on film.
This is the best movie to watch if you want to have a good time, learn Jamaican Slang, see rastas and hear classic reggae.