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'The Price of Memory' to premiere in MoBay next week

Published:Thursday | October 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Images from the film 'The Price of Memory'. Contributed Photos
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The Montego Bay Cultural Centre and National Gallery West will host the Montego Bay premiere of the documentary film The Price of Memory on Saturday, October 18, starting at 7 p.m.

Film-maker Karen Marks Mafundikwa will be in attendance at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square to introduce the film and to host a question-and-answer session afterwards. The event is free to the public, but donations are welcomed in support of the Montego Bay Cultural Centre programmes.

Filmed over the span of 11 years, The Price of Memory explores the legacy of slavery in the United Kingdom (UK) and Jamaica and the initiatives and debates surrounding reparations. The film starts in 2002, with Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Jamaica as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations, when she is petitioned by a small group of Rastafari for slavery reparations. The film traces this petition and the first reparation lawsuit to be filed in Jamaica against The Queen, while interweaving stories of earlier Rastas, who pursued reparations and repatriation in the 1960s.

The film-maker travels to the UK, exploring the cities which grew wealthy from slavery and the British monarchy's legacy of slavery, and follows the debates about reparations in both the Jamaican and British parliaments.

The Price of Memory premiered at the 2014 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in September.

The Jamaican premiere was at University of the West Indies, Mona, on September 7, and received a standing ovation from the capacity audience.

The October 18 screening of The Price of Memory is also the launch of the National Gallery West/Montego Bay Cultural Centre film programme.

Karen Marks Mafundikwa is a Jamaican film-maker who originates from Montego Bay, and the opening scene of the film is shot in Sam Sharpe Square. She holds a BA in broadcast journalism and anthropology from New York University and an MSc in international development from the Tulane University School of Law.

She is also credited with the 2009 documentary feature Shungu: The Resilience of a People, which won the Ousmane Sembene Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2010 and Best Documentary in the 2010 Kenya International Film Festival.