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ABOUT THE FILMJamaica is home to one of the world's most fascinating cultures and historically important people – the Maroons. Yet so little is known about the Maroons, whose very rich culture and heritage is threatened to now become a thing of the past. That would be a tragedy; after all, the heroes and heroines of the Maroon rebellions could be considered the Spartacus of their time; except these slaves were victorious in their fight for freedom. This fact is not lost on Jamaican-born, New Jersey-based filmmaker Roy T. Anderson. After years of research and dozens of interviews that took him from remote regions of Jamaica's Blue and John Crow Mountains, to the coastal regions of Ghana and its interior, then finally to the mysterious and isolated Maroon community of Accompong, he has conceived Akwantu: the Journey Read More...
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This film is not that popular a medium in the documentation of Maroon history, which is why it is so important - is not just the outcome of academic curiosity on the part of Roy Anderson. It has been an essential task in his search for his roots; for family, for homeland. Akwantu: the Journey highlights his travels to the "Motherland," retracing the steps of his ancestors and learning about their agonizing trek on foot from Africa's northern interior to the coastal dungeons of modern day Ghana. From the Baracoons of El Mina and Cape Coast, across the Atlantic Ocean via the dreaded Middle Passage to their enslavement in Jamaica. From their activism and for some their deportation to Nova Scotia because they dared to contemplate freedom. Naturally, Halifax too has become his heritage.If not enough of all of this is known in Jamaica it is not the fault of the historians, the cultural agencies or of the Maroon descendants, who, together, have made sure that they preserve this memory and history for posterity. That is why Roy knows about his heritage. The ignorance that persists is the fault of the various governments of Jamaica and of successive Ministries of Education who have denied Jamaicans a connection with their heritage because of their failure to make Caribbean history a, compulsory subject at all levels of the educational system. We pretend that Garvey is our icon but we ignore his words. A people without knowledge of their past history and culture is like a tree without roots. Roy has ensured that he is not rootless like so many other Jamaicans