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Film By Jamaican-Born Hollywood Stuntman Showcases History Of Legendary Maroons Of Jamaica

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 22, 2012 1:22 PM
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Titled Akwantu: the Journey, the feature doc is directed by Roy T. Anderson, award-winning Hollywood stuntman to the stars (like Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx).

Details from the press release:

They were considered the “Spartacus” of their time; except these enslaved Africans were victorious in their fight for freedom. This fact is not lost on Jamaican-born New Jersey-based filmmaker and stuntman Roy T. Anderson. After years of research and dozens of interviews that took him from remote regions of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains to the coastal environs of Ghana and its interior, then finally to the mysterious and isolated community of Accompong, St. Elizabeth, he has conceived Akwantu: the Journey. Akwantu: the Journey documents the struggles for freedom of the Jamaican Maroons, rebel slaves of West African origin who defeated the mighty British army and formed independent communities in the rugged and remote regions of Jamaica in the early-mid 18th century. The descendants of these communities still maintain their proud heritage today. Yet so little is known about the Maroons whose very rich culture and heritage is threatened to now become a thing of the past. 

The film is said to have been shot over 3 years, in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada and the USA, featuring interviews with world renowned scholars, African nationals, Maroon officials and present-day Jamaican citizens (both Maroon and non-Maroon), while simultaneously capturing Roy’s personal journey of self-discovery from Maroon society to North American.

An exclusive sneak preview of the film will take place this Sunday, May 27th, in NYC, and I'll plan to attend and check out the doc myself, or have someone go in my place. I'm certainly interested in the subject matter.

Watch a 3-minute preview of the film below:

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  • Jeff O | May 29, 2012 4:31 AMReply

    Really looking forward to seeing this one...

  • Donella | May 24, 2012 12:38 PMReply

    Nice! Will be good to see more films such as this and the Toussaint miniseries in wide release.

  • Ava | May 22, 2012 6:21 PMReply

    Having learned about the history of the Maroons in school, I have to say that this is a story that is unknown to people outside of Jamaica-- no self respecting Jamaican cannot know about the history of the Maroons, Accompong and the Abeng. There are some very noteworthy musicians and artisans that hail from Maroon culture (drummers in particular) and have been integral to Jamaican music and culture. Still, a cohesive narrative shown in a documentary might be just what is needed to educate more people on the Maroon community, including Nanny, one of our National heroes.

  • Ava | May 22, 2012 6:25 PM

    The Maroons also have a very complex history as they made controversial agreements with the British in order to maintain their autonomy. One point of contention was that at some point, instead of accepting new runaway slaves that came later-- in fact, turning them over to the British. I expect this will be included in the documentary as well.

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