Elgood locks horn with systemWednesday, February 19, 2020
BY AALIYAH CUNNINGHAM
The Rastafarian religion emerged in Jamaica during the 1930s and over the years grown in acceptance across the world. One identifying feature of Rastas is their dreadlocks, but many are still condemned for their matted hairstyle in Jamaica.
This continuous chastisement led British film-maker Rick Elgood to create a documentary that would help shed some light on the issue.
“My god-daughter was banned from going to her school because she have locks and I'm about to start a dramatic film based on that,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
For Rastafarians, dreadlocks are a religious symbol which carries significant meanings. They represent the lion's mane, which shows strength.
“I'm starting pretty soon, I'm just writing the treatment and screenplay at the moment, and it's going to go into the Propella. So, first I'll be making a short, and it's gonna be a feature film. It's gonna be great,” said Elgood.
Propella is a script-to-screen initiative led by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro) and Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA). The programme is designed to hone the talents of Jamaica's content creators and give them an opportunity to deliver their stories through film, by providing them with the necessary funding and technical support.
According to Elgood, his yet-titled film is aimed at inspiring change in how Rastafarians are treated.
“It is one of those real people films that is relevant in our society today. I want to really look at this and cause some kind of shift in the narrative,” he said.
In 2018, it was alleged that a 17-year-old student of Cumberland High School in Portmore, St Catherine, had been expelled because of the length of his hair.
Angella Wood insisted that the family is of the Rastafarian faith and that, despite this, her son Audrique White had complied with the principal's request to cut his hair, but was expelled because he had not shaved.
The school, however, dismissed the allegations, citing the student had not been expelled but advised to enrol in a suitable programme at the HEART Trust/NTA.
Elgood directed the 1997 movie, Dancehall Queen, which starred Audrey Reid and Paul Campbell, and One Love (2003), staring Ky-Mani Marley and Cherine Anderson. He was also heavily involved in the television series Me & Mi Kru which aired on CVM TV.
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