Rudeboy: the Story of Trojan Records!

Director Nicolas Jack Davies
Jamaica, United Kingdom / 86 min. / 2018 / English, Jamaican / NO subtitles

Between documentary and cinematic remake, the story of the most famous Jamaican music label is also that of the love affair of the young British working class with the rhythms that emerged in the ghettos of Kingston.


The cultural impact of Trojan Records is undeniable and, especially in the United Kingdom, can be traced in the ska revival of the 2 Tone label, the Notting Hill carnival and in the expansion of the sound systems culture which in turn, would play a key role in the hip hop revolution and club culture. This film skilfully condenses the half century of history of the most important Jamaican music label, considered in its golden age to be “the Motown of reggae”. From the truck with which Duke Reid shunted his sound system by Kingston and that would give the name of Trojan to the original label to the years of apogee between 1969 and 1973 and the emergence of the “Trojan skinheads” in England in the image and likeness of the Jamaican “rude boys”, stopping by the most iconic recordings of the label by people like Dandy Livingstone, Lee Perry and The Upsetters, Toots & The Maytals, Desmond Dekker, Bunny Lee, Derrick Morgan or Bob & Marcia, whose version of “Young, Gifted and Black” by Nina Simone would become the Caribbean “Black and Proud”. The best assets of the documentary reside in the archive of street dances and in the dramatizations of historical episodes such as the fascination that the rhythms of ska, rocksteady, reggae and dub would stir among many working-class white youths, sharing a dance floor with young people who came from the Jamaican diaspora when the furious anti-immigration discourse of conservative politicians such as Enoch Powell still resounded.


And don’t forget that there are a lot of legendary oldies who have probably died as we write this.

Saturday is the punk-rock-ska day! Check the rest of the program, get a Three-Pack, combine three films and end the day with Don Letts spinning records at the foyer of Het Ketelhuis. Yes, you read it correctly… Don Letts!


Don Letts’ reputation has been firmly established in both the film and music world by a substantial body of work from the late 70’s through the 80’s, 90’s and well into the millennium. He came to notoriety in the late 70’s as the DJ that single handedly turned a whole generation of punks onto reggae. It was whilst as a d.j at the first punk club ‘The Roxy’ in 1977, that made his first film ‘The Punk Rock Movie’ w/ Sex Pistols-The Clash and many others. This led to a period directing over 300 music videos for an diverse mix of artists ranging from Public Image to Bob Marley.


He then moved into documentary work making films on the likes of Gil Scot-Heron, The Jam, Sun Ra, The Clash and George Clinton. His most recent documentary was for Sir Paul McCartney’s ‘New’ project. Feature films include the legendary Jamaican movie  1997’s ‘Danchall Queen’.


Along with his autobiography ‘Culture Clash: Dread Meets Punk Rockers’ released in 2007 Don was also the subject of the documentary film ‘Superstonic Sound: The Rebel Dread’ in 2010.


He currently presents a weekly radio show on BBC 6 Music called ‘Culture Clash Radio’ and still d.j’s nationally and internationally.

To finish the night m-Sebastian will spin his best selection for you!


m-Sebastian bought his first fishtail parka in 1979, when he was just a 12 year old lad looking for action. He’s been on the scene ever since and as a dj brought R’nB, Soul, Jazz & Ska and everything in between to crowds in the Netherlands and the UK.

In collaboration with:

Rudeboy: the Story of Trojan Records!
Saturday 6 at 20:00
Don Letts DJ session

 Free for members of:

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IDFA 2018
Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Toots Hibbert, Ken Boothe, Neville Staple, Marcia Griffiths, Dave Barker, Dandy Livingstone, Lloyd Coxsone, Pauline Black, Derrick Morgan and more.
Art director
Scarlett Clifford
Jonas Mortensen
Vivienne Perry, Sam Bridger