Kingston, Jamaica: – Perry Henzell’s long awaited ‘No Place Like Home’ will be premiered in Jamaica at the Flashpoint Film Festival set for Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 3 at The Caves, Negril.
Legendary director Perry Henzell first came to worldwide acclaim with his explosive feature film, ‘The Harder They Come’. Now, thirty years later, he returns to the big screen with ‘No Place Like Home’, a story of one woman’s journey to the heart of the real Jamaica.
Henzell’s second film is an exploration and revelation of a tropical culture that is breathtakingly beautiful, spontaneously surprising, musically entertaining and politically revealing all at the same time. ‘No Place Like Home’, is a seductive tale of finding one’s personal true north, even if it happens to be on the sun-kissed, turbulent, and enigmatic island nation of Jamaica.
‘No Place Like Home’, was intended to follow more closely on the heels of ‘The Harder They Come’, reversing Ivan’s journey from country to city with Susan’s journey from city to country, to find the real Jamaica. Its road to the screen in 2006, however, was as tortuous as Ivan’s journey in Henzell’s first film.
The film was started almost 30 years ago, but funding became an issue and production was halted, and then re-started several times.
Henzell explains, “Getting ‘No Place Like Home’ made took a long time because I kept running out of money, because the film was made in a very unusual way. That is, as an experiment in realism that combined spontaneous footage with written footage in such a way that one can’t tell the difference. My working method was to shoot the spontaneous footage first and then immediately afterwards, write and shoot the footage that would move the story forward.”
“Every time I tried to explain my working method to financiers, the first question was always, “Where is the script?” When they discovered there was no script, eyes glazed over and chequebooks closed, in spite of the fact that I thought the footage I was showing them was the best work I had ever done. Eventually I went completely broke, into debt, to the point where I had to abandon the film business in favour of writing novels in the hills of Jamaica.”
In a cruel turn, the negative was lost in September 1987 and Henzell despaired that the film into which he had poured so much of his heart and energy was forever lost. However, in a twist of fate, 30 years after ‘No Place Like Home’ began, the footage turned up in a lab in New York. It was a gift that Henzell doesn’t take for granted, and in between his work on the London stage opening of ‘The Harder They Come’, he has been overseeing the restoration of ‘No Place Like Home’, with producers Chris Romano and Dave Garonzik.
‘No Place Like Home’ was first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September this year but will finally return home in December. “I am thrilled that the film will have its Jamaican Premiere at the Flashpoint Film Festival.” Henzell declared.
Henzell’s next major production will be putting his novel, ‘Power Game’, on the screen, thus completing the “Jamaican Trilogy” of ‘The Harder They Come’, ‘No Place Like Home’ and ‘Power Game’, which tells the story of the two Jamaicans, the city and the countryside, and the struggle for which spirit will prevail.
The 2006 staging of the annual Flashpoint Film Festival is set for Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 3 at The Caves, Negril. Firefly Films, The Caves, Island Outpost, JAMPRO, Phase 3, DB&G, Rockers Its Dangerous, Palm Pictures, Final Draft, Digital Edge, On Que Productions, JTB, CVM TV and HYPE TV sponsor the festival.
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