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Film Review: One People

Director & Photographer: Mykal Cushnie

Jamaica is an island of undying rhythm that offers a unique experience when it comes to food, music, and adventure. For tourists visiting Jamaica, the island is truly a paradise.

From the moment a foreigner lands, they are greeted by the friendliest people; an island tour guide on a Juta bus encourages them to feel the vibe and enjoy the ride.

In this film, One People (2022); an adaption of a fictional novel bearing the same name first published in 1997, not only serves as good entertainment but also gives life to a visual depiction of the social life issues of this era.

“While the big people dem built hotels in Negril fast, the little people slowly erected bamboo sheds along the main…. enthusiastically painted signs….and then watched the tourists pass by, in air-conditioned coaches, speeding directly between the airport and the hotel lobbies. The white faces gazed back at them through the windows, the way later they’d gaze into the deep water under the hotel’s glass-bottom boat.” - Guy Kennaway, One People (1997)

Directed by Mykal Cushnie, the film centers around the work lives of three entrepreneurs from a small village on the west end of Jamaica, Cousins Cove. The oldest Fisherman of Cousin’s Cove, Charles Barrel, Cook-shop Keeper, Kuba, and local Deejay Avalisa are the three entrepreneurs who played vital roles in telling their stories in this eight minutes documentary film. The film explores the similarities and differences that exist especially among the small businesses in the now tourist sector in comparison to the 90s.

“The ocean, held in the cove by overhanging jungle, was invariably flat as a pond, and always warm. It was as if the sea, like the sun and the moon, had singled out Cousins Cove to be its friend.” - Guy Kennaway, One People (1997)

While the novel took the direction of humor and wit, the film showcased a different side and added to the raw truth of unequal opportunities. The film starts strong, we are introduced to a plethora of picturesque photographed scenes of the village and its people layered softly in a splash of nostalgic black and white tones, and an interesting image of a tattered board shop with the painted words, The Sky Is The Limit.

Ironically, there are limitations for the people of Cousins Cove as they are still faced with an unfair chance of succeeding in the tourism sector twenty-five years later in the new world. However, in the end, they remained hopeful and wholeheartedly stayed true to their authentic selves. The heart of a truly great film is its story. Join the rest and dive into the pages of this republished, One People by Guy Kenneway book and become a part of the story that was told.

“Guy Kennaway is one white man that gets it! These stories in the book are so grounded and unbiased that even a Jamaican had to pick it up and say “Jeez, I didn’t know that?” I think it’s a beautiful story, one that we have never heard before and I can’t wait to see this book being optioned into a tv series or something, it’s that good!” - Mykal Cushnie

Production Credits:

Director & Photographer: Mykal Cushnie

Producer & Narrator: The Tamo Ennis

Cinematographer: Krusha Visuals

Drone/Camera Assistant/ Data Wrangler: Sky Beyond Society

Sound Recordist: Dave “Bubba” Hall

Post Production: DSE Films

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