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I just enjoyed the hell outta this. One of my favorite watches of the year, possibly No.1.
I had seen one scene of this before and liked the cut of its jib but just never felt like it was the right time to watch it. Then a friend said, "Hey, why don't you hang around and smoke this joint and watch Rockers with me?" And I said, "Ok."

This is a takeover, mon!

Remove ya!

Anyway, the short-version of the story is that Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, a drummer living in the slums of Kingston, has decided to borrow money to buy a motorcycle so that he can drive to all the dancehalls and sell the new records being pressed in order to support his family. To my surprise, pretty much everyone he asks agrees to help him.

This is the first really cool thing about this movie. Everybody helps everybody. He gets the motorcycle and has a Lion of Judah painted on it and sets about his task, which immediately goes well because everybody helps everybody. But then someone steals it and now Leroy has lost his means of making money and the thing which he owes many people money for. What will he do?
Well, this is Jamaica (mon), and I just got back from there and this was kinda my experience too... he just asks a bunch of Rastas for help and they all say "yes". Because everybody helps everybody. Even when Jacob Miller pulls a knife on Leroy for stealing his food (literally while he was eating it) it's all just laughed off and they dap it out and then Miller sings a song and they go get the motherf*ckers who stole his bike. It suddenly turns into a 70s Blaxploitation movie where all the hard-hitters in the community band together (to Peter Tosh's "Stepping Razor") to go get The Man (oh yeah, it turns out The Man stole Leroy's bike).
The movie is so guerrilla in a lot of ways (made for $40,000) and yet there are so many little joys to it. You start out thinking Leroy is kind of a deadbeat but then he actually makes good on what he says he's gonna do and you see that people like him and he really is a good drummer, he just lives in a slum in the Third World and this is his life. All the people you meet, they're just people like Leroy trying to do their best. But what penetrates is the joy and camaraderie they all seem to find in life despite the hardships. I swear, these amazing characters don't even seem to notice they are living in abject poverty. They absolutely shine.

And, ultimately, the good feels are not the only things this movie has to offer. There is surprisingly good craft here for the budget. I mean, no one in the movie is actually an actor, they're all just real Rastas, mostly reggae-musicians, and hell, Leroy's wife is actually played by... Leroy's wife. But they make it all work. And the direction, cinematography, and editing are all quite professional considering the money, at times actually really eye-catching. There's a great tracking-shot that I was really impressed by, for example. But they really manage to transport you and it was a really, really nice ride to take. In a lot of ways, I came away from it wanting to make sure I treated people in my community the way these people did in theirs. And go get The Man too!

I'll leave you with the opening of the movie, just for a little more of the flavor: