Jamaican Documentaries: History and Gender Politics
A Jamaican documentary doubleheader: Port Maria: Herstory and Miss Jamaica
Running time: 100 minutes
The township of Puerto Santa Maria was formed in 1516 by Spanish colonizers on Jamaica’s North Coast. By 1655, the Spanish were toppled by the English and the town was renamed Port Maria. As it relates to its popular North Coast contemporaries; Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Port Maria is often thought of as little more than a dot on Jamaica’s map. The documentary Port Maria: Herstory does a deep dive into the township’s rich history, highlighting 500 years of intriguing information.
The relationship between men and women has been a complex one since the days of Adam and Eve. Here in Jamaica, that dynamic remains intact. The documentary Miss Jamaica is a cinematic study of the Jamaican woman as she navigates an environment informed by African tradition and an influx of international influences via cable television and the internet. As in the case with societies the world over, women are the backbone of Jamaica.