Nanny of the Maroons

Documentary film on Nanny to be shown today and tomorrow

From the Jamaica Observer:

A documentary film on Nanny of the Maroons, Jamaica’s only national heroine, known for her indomitable spirit, will be showcased today and tomorrow.

Titled, Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess, the film documents the struggle of the Jamaican Maroons led by the military genius, Nanny.

Today’s screening will take place at the Kenneth Standard Lecture Theatre on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, beginning at 6:00 pm, while the October 24 screening will be shown in Moore Town, Portland, also starting at 6:00 pm.

A spiritual leader, Nanny was skilled in the use of herbs and guerilla warfare and, from her mountain stronghold at the source of the Stony River in the Blue Mountains, she directed the operation that ultimately neutralised the British.

“The producer wanted to look at the different elements of the Nanny story — the mystical, the mysterious, her personal life and where she is from, and put her in the context of liberation,” said publicist of Action 4 Reel Filmworks, Paul H Williams.

He said the film examines gender in history as it delves into Nanny’s role as a woman and, by extension, women’s contributory function to liberation in Jamaica.

Williams pointed out that it is important to single out the warrior chieftainess, not solely because of her appearance on the Jamaican $500 note, but because her story represents something uniquely Jamaican.

“The story of the Jamaican people evolved out of the story of the Maroons, and Nanny was significant among the Maroons,” he said.

The film’s premiere took place at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York as part of the UN’s unearthing of females in slavery. The sold-out event was attended by Rita Marley and other members of the Marley family.

“Nanny used to live in Moore Town, and her story is part of the Moore Town story. So, we see it as fitting to have a showing for those living in that great famous Maroon community,” Williams said.

Moore Town is the home of the Windward Maroons and is a village in the Blue Mountains.

“We are also looking at the fact that the Blue and John Crow mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site, so we also want to put this in context [in showcasing the film],” noted Williams.

Meanwhile, principal director of culture and creative industries in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr Janice Lindsay, says the ministry took interest in the film due to its connection to the Blue and John Crown mountains being designated a World Heritage Site.

She described the ministry’s partnership with the film’s principals as timely. “The cultural values associated with the site are as a result of the role of the Maroons, led by Queen Nanny. It made sense for us in terms of our own approach to developing a public education programme around this World Heritage inscription,” Dr Lindsay pointed out.

The film is directed and produced by Roy T Anderson, known for his work on the 2012 Dark Knight Rises and the 2007 Bourne Ultimatum.