Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country roads, take me home!, 1 Aug. 2007
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This review is from: Countryman [1983] [DVD] (DVD)
One certainly wouldn't recommend this film for the plotline or, indeed for the acting, which is almost universally comically bad. This is a document of a place in time, Jamaica in the late seventies, politics, nature and culture all portrayed with stunning realism.

The story follows 'Countryman' a simple rastafarian fisherman who rescues an American couple when their light plane crashes in a remote swamp. Facing an election, and with public opinion swinging against them, the government seizes on the incident as an opportunity to make political capital by portraying them as CIA agents smuggling weapons to opposition supporters. Somewhat oblivious to the politics, Countryman hides them and helps them escape their army pursuers.

One might think the plot had been lifted straight out of 'Tarzan' if it weren't such a faithful reflection of the climate of political intrigue and violence that characterized the bloody struggle between the JLP and the PNP in late seventies Jamaica. In fact the involvement of the CIA, publicly denied by Kissinger at the time, has since been confirmed on the record by retired CIA operatives.

Countryman (credited as 'himself') is superb, injecting some depth to his part which is conspicuously lacking among the other actors. However, it is the scenery and (some ghastly supernatural effects apart) the production that are the real stars. The atmosphere of rural Jamaica is caught as faithfully here as urban life is in 'The Harder They Come' and anyone who loves the country couldn't help but be deeply moved.

The soundtrack too is awesome, right up there with THTC as one of the ultimate documents of authentic Jamaican reggae.

So, cineasts need not apply. For lovers of Jamaica, five stars all the way. Irie.
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