‘The Story of Lovers Rock’ enjoyed a successful theatrical release in New York City at the Quad Cinema in November 2011 and will be screened in Queens, NY at the Black Spectrum Theatre on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4th.
The Story of Lovers Rock tells the story of how Lovers Rock music defined a generation in the UK in the late 70s and 80s hugely impacting on British Pop Culture. The film which was released on 30 September 2011 in the UK to great popular and critical acclaim is produced and directed by award winning director/producer Menelik Shabazz; who makes his return after a 30 year absence.
Lovers Rock, often dubbed romantic reggae, is a unique British sound, the genre developed against a backdrop of racial tension, the Brixton riots and sound systems in the late 70s and 80s. It went from a small UK scene to becoming a global phenomenon through artists like UB40 and Maxi Priest.
Lovers Rock allowed young people to experience intimacy and healing through dance- known as “scrubbing” at parties and clubs. They identified with the music as it spoke to their notions and emotions of romantic love and formed a coping mechanism for what they were experiencing on the streets. Lovers Rock developed national UK hits with artist like Janet Kay and her song “Silly Games.”
The feature length documentary contains interviews, comedy sketches, dance, live performances and archive footage — with such artists as Janet Kay, UB40, Maxi Priest, Levi Roots, Linton Kwesi Johnson, comedians Angie Le Mar, Robbie G, Eddies Nestor and new artists like Ava Leigh and Lovella Ellis — which are used to shed light on the music and the generation that embraced it.
The New York Times writes “Mr. Shabazz conveys a love of the music and its culture” and film critic Kam Williams writes: “You can add The Story of Lovers Rock to the short list of must-see, politically-tinged documentaries which shed light on the cultural roots of a lesser-known musical genre, a la Calypso Dreams and Buena Vista Social Club.”