Bongo Man

Film, Documentaries
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Having to wait ten years before seeing Jimmy Cliff on film again after The Harder They Come was bad enough; having to watch him witlessly lionised is rubbing salt into the wounds. As if director Paul had got his artistic needle stuck, Bongo Man is little more than a repeat of his Reggae Sunsplash formula: sliced up concert footage and interviews over which a narrator/commentator intones lines like 'politicans divide, musicians unite'. Not that it doesn't have its moments, as Cliff is followed through a series of concerts, walkabouts and rasta raps set against the politically volatile atmosphere of 1980s Jamaican elections; most of them spring from the thirteen or so resonant reggae anthems and the odd bit of wit in the face of 'babilan'. But overall it's a sprawling muddy mess of a movie.

By: FL

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stefan Paul
Screenwriter: Stefan Paul
Cast: Miriam Makeba
Barbara Jones
Nadine Sullivan
Lister Hewan-Lowe
Jimmy Cliff and the Oneness Band
Bob Marley and the Wailers
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