Out of Many, One Documentary Image

by Tanaka Roberts

The One People Documentary launch was hosted on June 5th at the Phillip Sherlock Centre, the UWI Mona campus' humble mecca for creative arts.

The very intimate event accommodated about two hundred listed guests, each welcomed to the neatly decked out reception area by hostesses clad in full black and pleasant smiles. Among those in attendance were several high profile names, particularly influential in the cultural and entertainment sphere of Jamaica.  

One People is a collaborative documentary by Zachary Harding and Justine Henzell that invited persons from a total of 26 countries around the world to respond to the question, "What does Jamaica mean to you". The ultimate goal of the documentary is to compile, in the most profound and vivid sense, the global reach of Jamaica- juxtaposed with the island's celebration of 50 years of independence.

With the preview scheduled for 8pm, early attendees were treated to Jamaican inspired hors d'oeuvres and drinks courtesy of sponsor Coca Cola. Of course, in true Jamaican fashion the proposed starting time of 8pm came and went. By 8:30pm however guests were ushered into the theatre and the preview was on its way only minutes later.  From the very beginning, the film captivated its audience as famous Jamaican faces expressed what Jamaica meant to them.  The 300 interviewees of the documentary included the likes of Edward Seaga,  Harry Belafonte, Gen. Colin Powell, Yohan Blake, Shaggy, Muta Baruka, Beverley Manley, Taurrus Riley, Busy Signal, Courtney Walsh, Sean Paul, Stephen Marley and Jean 'Binta' Breeze to name a few. From Jamaican dishes such as Ackee and saltfish to Jamaican expressions, "to rahtid", the preview galvanized Jamaica in all her cultural glory. 

The preview also highlighted the work of five major Jamaican brands who are also the main sponsors behind the project, namely Flow, PUMA, NCB , Coca Cola and Bigga. Each brand representative gave account of their experience as Jamaican brands, how the culture has impacted their brand and the reverse. They also unfolded their plans for the celebration of Jamaica's 50th as well as the up-coming Olympics.

The humour, nostalgia and pride that the preview entails have left everyone excited to see the final product. As noted by Jamaica's Film Commissioner, Kim Marie Spence while addressing the audience, Jamaica 'likkle but tallawah' for it is quite clear that despite of our microscopic size we have made quite an impact on the world scene- evident in the film. One People will premiere on August 6th, the date of Jamaica's independence in Kingston, London and the US.


Image To contort oneself into the prescribed of mediocre minds - contradicts character.
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