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One Love in the Park

By Aaliyah Cunningham
Observer writer

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Couples and singles gathered at The Oval in Emancipation Park last Friday evening (Valentine's Day) for Reggae Films In The Park. Part of Reggae Month celebrations, the feature film, One Love, was fitting for the occasion.

The Oval was transformed into a large movie theatre reminiscent of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, with the cool night breeze providing natural ventilation, and the stars and moon illuminating the audience.

Released in 2003, One Love is directed by Don Letts and Rick Elgood.

Serena (played by Cherine Anderson) struggles to admit to her father that she has fallen in love with a Rastaman – Kassa (played by Ky-Mani Marley. Her Christian upbringing, coupled with the fact that her father is a pastor, is a barrier between the couple who connected over their shared interest in music.

Though the film was first released 17 years ago, it seemed some members of the crowd were seeing it for the first time.

“It didn't get a fantastic release in Jamaica. I think it had very limited release in the Carib because some blockbuster was coming along and they always put blockbuster films before local films like the next Spider Man or Harry Potter. So, they are consuming this for the first time but the thing about it is the story is fresh, it's an endless story, it goes on and on,” Elgood told the Jamaica Observer.

One Love is the perfect blend of Jamaican romance and comedy; audience members found it refreshing and reflective of the Valentines mood. Ralph Hughes watched from beside the fountain in the middle of Emancipation Park. For him, Reggae Film In The Park was the highlight of his evening.

“Mi neva have anything fi do enuh, an' mi a pass an' see di set-up an' sey mi go jus' bun off some time here before mi go home. Mi like all a this though 'cause a nuff man nuh get fi watch big screen an' dem ting deh, suh mi like waah gwaan,” he said.

Evadney Brown was also pleased.

“It's an amazing thing to do on Friday evenings because sometimes you just not ready to go home, I think this is the first I am seeing this movie from the start as well, I always catch it in the middle,” she told the Observer.

Reggae Films In The Park continues tomorrow with Inna De Yard, a documentary directed by Peter Webber, and the short film Abeeku and The Maroons directed by Kevin Jackson.

After the movie, there was a concert featuring acts including Tamo J, Julian Marley, Leroy Sibbles, and percussionist Bongo Herman.