Rockers – The best movie for Jamaican slang and for speaking Jamaican patois

Man it’s been a long time since I last saw Rockers but I recently decided to watch it again and it’s the BEST movie for learning Jamaican slang and patois. It stands out from the other Jamaican films produced before or after it.

Rockers is Greek director Theodoros Bafaloukos’ 1977 Jamaican film about a group of rastas who love reggae, have fun and fight against the forces of Babylon, also known as the “Uptown Top Rankings”. The film follows drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace on his daily adventures with his Rasta friends. Some of his friends are reggae legends like Jacob Miller, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Lee Scratch Perry and many other greats. Any film with such legends would not be complete without being performed by some of these artists. Both Lee Scratch Perry and Jacob Miller make brief but priceless appearances. The soundtrack alone makes the film worth seeing.

Although the film is fun and has great music, there are several other reasons why it is a shining star among Jamaican films. The introduction is classic. The film opens with a Nyabinghi drumming scene, one of the foundations of Rastafarian culture and reggae. From there the movie starts and one of the things that people who are learning Jamaican slang and patois will like is that the entire movie is in Jamaican patois. Not only do you get the accent, pronunciation, and words, you get body language and the context of certain things. Well the film was made over 25 years ago so some of the words are dated but the essence of patois and rasta is still well captured in the film.

This is the kind of movie you watch every day or two to get familiar with the sound of patois and some expressions. For example CHA Mon… you can read that in a book, but to see the context in which this expression is used you can only capture it in person or on film.

This is the best movie to watch if you want to have a good time, learn Jamaican slang, watch rastas and listen to classic reggae.

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