“Better Mus’ Come” Screening Kicks Off African Diaspora Film Series

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The African Diaspora Film Series begins Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. in Lecture Center 100 with the campus screening of the film, Better Mus’ Come, and discussion with acclaimed film director Storm Saulter. The event is free and open to the public.

Better Mus’ Come is a coming of age drama set in Jamaica’s turbulent 1970s, against the backdrop of the Cold War, a national water crisis, an energy crisis, corruption, and numerous murder scandals that gave birth to the polarized violence gripping the streets of Kingston both then and now.

After months of incarceration as a suspected political agitator, Ricky is released. Haunted by the tragic death of his devoted young wife and paralyzed by conflicting feelings of guilt and loyalty to his political tribe, he tries to navigate his way through the minefields created by the constant social upheaval that seems to be ubiquitous in his community, while providing a better life for his 5-year-old son.

At his homecoming party, Ricky meets Kemala, a book smart country girl, who lives in the opposing neighborhood, enemy territory. In many ways they are opposites, but what starts as antagonism quickly turns into burning passion.

Kemala encourages Ricky to convince his old friends in the community to adopt a more passive approach. To defy the status quo of confrontation, this leads to the inevitable cycle of violence. The big question is, can Ricky and his crew beat the odds and ensure that Better Mus’ Come?” ( Excerpted from http://www.affrm.com/bmc-press/better-mus-come-production-notes/)

About the Filmmaker

Saulter is a visual artist and filmmaker. Born in Negril, Jamaica, he received formal film training at The Los Angeles Film School graduating in 2001 with a focus in Cinematography and Editing. His commercial clients include companies such as: ROOTS Canada, Red Bull, Nestle, Red Stripe Beer, Atlantic Records, Warner Music Canada, Sandals Resorts International, Martha Stewart, and The Hilton. His images have appeared in Rolling StoneThe Village Voice, and Trace magazine. Saulter has also directed several music videos for popular Jamaican Reggae/Dancehall artists.

Critics have recognized his award winning film Better Mus’ Come as heralding a new movement of independent filmmaking throughout the Caribbean. Saulter is the co-founder of New Caribbean Cinema (www.newcaribbeancineam.com), a pioneering effort to showcase the next generation of talented Caribbean filmmakers through the use of “communal filmmaking” as a means of creating world-class documentary and narrative works. He recently produced New Caribbean Cinema’s RING DI ALARM! alongside co-founder Michelle Serieux.

Saulter received the 2011 Jamaica Gleaner Honour Award for his work in developing Jamaica’s Film Industry. The Jamaica Observer has named him one of his country’s most influential people, and in 2012 he was identified by the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica as one of the 50 Under Fifty business leaders shaping Jamaica’s future.

Department of Black Studies Spring Schedule of Events

A presentation, entitled “Unmasking Selective Memory [and/or Historical Amnesia]:  Images of African American History in the Hudson River Valley in Their Unaltered States,” kicks off an exciting spring roster of events from the Department of Black Studies.

The presentation, held from 7-9:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 102, features introductory remarks by Black Studies Professor A. J. Williams-Myers.  Susan Stessin-Cohn and Ashley Biagini from Historic Hugenot Street will speak on the topic, “Hidden Heritage.”

Anthropology faculty members Joseph Diamond and Ken Nystrom will also present topical research.  Diamond’s presentation is entitled, “Owned in Life, Owned in Death:  The Pine Street African and African-American Burial Ground in Kingston, New York.”  Nystrom’s presentation is entitled, “Dissection of African Americans and the embodiment of inequality in 19th Century United States.”

Other events include:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 12:   5-8 p.m., Lecture Center 100

African Diaspora Film Series Presentation of Better Mus’ Come by Director Storm Saulter

  • Wednesday, Feb. 19:  7-9 p.m., Lecture Center 108

“The New Plantation, New York City and State,” by Assistant Professor Zelbert Moore

  • Wednesday, March 26: 5-8 pm., Lecture Center 108

African Diaspora Film Series Presentation of 70: Remembering a Revolution by Director Alex DeVerteuil

  • Wednesday, April 30: 5-8 p.m., Lecture Center 108

African Diaspora Film Series Presentation of Life and Debt by Director Stephanie Black