ROCKERS and DANCEHALL QUEEN D: Ted Bafaloukos, and Rick Elgood and Don Letts Rating: NNN
As the city clangs this week to the sound of Caribana, there's a slower vibe happening in the dark. The National Film Board and the Irie Music Festival screen two generations of Jamaica's slip-rhythm artists in a reggae double bill. Rockers (1978) is a Jamaican take on The Bicycle Thief, with Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace as a musician trying to find the badman who stole his motorbike. In Dancehall Queen (1997), Audrey Reid makes herself over as a "sexy bitch" to make money and save her family - it's the yardie Mildred Pierce.
Both films understand how satisfying an underdog hero can be. Both pepper their soundtracks with songs that underscore their themes - Peter Tosh, Burning Spear and Bunny Wailer in Rockers, and Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Lady Saw in Dancehall Queen.
And that's 20 years of reggae: from mass uprising to solo fame. (July 31-August 1, NFB Mediatheque)