Yellowman ADD

Review: Hit Me With Music (Documentary)

05/08/2011 by Munchy

Review: Hit Me With Music (Documentary)

A dancehall party, that’s ganja, liquor, fashion and… peanuts! The first laughter is right on ‘Hit me with music’s side and yet this documentary is much more than shallow entertainment. According to the assistant director it’s all about dancehall and how Jamaicans party to get away from their daily struggles, the violence and crime they have to face everyday – an extensive issue. Naturally 76 minutes can’t cover all aspects but considering the pre-published YouTube trailers the filmmakers surely would have had enough material on any related subject and then there’s still the question: would most of us really miss to hear about some of the stereotypes such as the smoking again and again?

The producers carefully chose a few interesting characters to tell various plot lines. Meet humble and caring dancer Jelly Brain starring and directing his own little Ninja movies and teaching the youths in his community how to dance. Meet a school principal who is not afraid to encourage his students in discussions on controversial issues such as the gully and gaza feud. Meet Winston Foster, an albino rising from an orphan found in a shopping bag by a garbage collector to one of the most successful artists, King of the Dancehall Yellowman.

The latter and his impressive story of life and musical career told in his own words run like a red thread through the documentary linking different stories.

Besides the various plots ‘Hit me with music’ impresses with well-arranged sequences edited on carefully chosen music. Exciting and entertaining on the one hand, yet deep and touching on the other.Some characters trying to explain ‘daggering’ surely receive laughter but the smile quickly drains from the viewers’ faces when the subject matter changes from the ‚sex with clothes’ to the real one and the story continues with the touching life story of a Kingstonian go-go dancer who tries to make a living to feed her three kids. If that’s not unsettling, the following scenes from the water gymnastics at a Negril all inclusive resort surely are. Real fans won’t know whether to laugh or cry when the tourists enthuse about their always same favourite song ‘No woman no cry’.

For those in the audience that are not so much into dancehall some topics might not completely reveal but those people will hopefully leave ‘Hit me with music’ motivated to find out more about it. For fans the documentary offers precious moving pictures unprecedented in this context. Laugh with dancing kids, cry with Bogle’s mother, marvel with Mighty Crown and don’t worry about a thing like the tourists in Negril because in the end (at least in the movie) it’s all good still.