Dancehall Queen
Still from Dancehall Queen

Dancehall Queen

classified 15

Cables & Cameras: Jamaican Independence 60th Anniversary


Please note: This was screened in Aug 2022

Rick Elgood, Don Letts
Cherine Anderson, Carl Davies, Paul Campbell
97 mins, 1997, Jamaica
Primary language

Don Letts' cult classic Dancehall Queen is a modern-day Cinderella story with no Prince Charming, but a strong, unshakeable woman fighting for freedom.

Marcia (Audrey Reid) is a single mother and street vendor barely scraping by on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica. Things turn nasty when she is threatened by thug Priest (Paul Campbell), then nastier still when she accepts money from Larry (Paul Campbell), who has eyes for her daughter. To escape her problems, Marcia devises a plan that involves entering a dance contest in disguise, winning the top prize and pitting both men against each other.

With pulsating reggae beats inside and outside the dancehall, exuberant costumes and the depiction of a colourful, bustling life on the streets of Kingston, Dancehall Queen remains the biggest cinematic hits in Jamaican film history.