If de boom-boom big! Boom-boom small, me ain't fraid Dem at all, If de boom-boom big! Boom-boom small, ah putting waist on all. (Boom-Boom Time, Iwer George, 1987)
Bottom in De Road documentary exposes a gendered reality articulated through the male gaze as it delves into the Caribbean man’s fascination for the female bottom. However, while the film explores this physical and psychological attraction, it questions male notions of female sexuality both from the perspective of academic experts and ‘grassroots intellectuals’.
The cultural context opens Bottom in De Road but it is the historical context which provides a framework within which the male fascination with the female bottom is articulated. In stark contrast to this male fascination, the documentary evokes as the central conflict women’s assertion of freedom, individuality and independence in public spaces through their body’s sexual expressions and the religious institutions that often seek to impose social sanctions upon such expressions.
Featuring candid interviews with cultural icons, ‘the man in the street’, as well as experts in the field of gender, culture, sexology, theology and anthropology, many try to articulate an understanding of the Caribbean man’s fascination with the female bottom - a fascination that has given rise to several calypsoes, soca and chutney rhythms used throughout the documentary. Bottom in De Road stands as a true Caribbean film, firmly based on Caribbean culture, its music, its scenery, its language and its people.
As I was searching for suitable local music for the documentary I listened to Bottom in De Road sung by Iwer George the Trinidadian Soca Artist in 1987 amongst others like Kerwin Du Bios and Fay Ann Lyons, I arranged an interview with Iwer and discussed my documentary. He said the song was the most appropriate and no other song would be better suited.
I used the title of the song to re-enforce my exploration of the use of the female body in public spaces rather than the evolution and history of the song.
Bottom in De Road attempts to discover the understanding of Caribbean culture, music, scenery, and language relating to the fascination with the female bottom. The constant male gaze, the freedom that Caribbean women have in asserting their freedom, individuality and independence in public spaces.
The idea to produce this documentary came to me as a result of my cross-cultural background. I have both Trinidadian and Nigerian parentage. Living in Nigeria for the most part of my life I was used to women dressing more conservatively. Most times they would wear loose clothing that covered their backsides. Occasionally one might see a university student wearing tight fitting jeans. In some places she went she would get harassed. Moving to Trinidad as an adult I noticed ladies and young girls wearing all sorts of clothing revealing their bottoms and they were not being teased by the opposite sex. This was a bit of a culture shock to me.
I have uploaded two trailers so far on social media. The second trailer has had over 300,000 hits in Trinidad alone through online screening.
Bottom in De Road | Documentary Trailer
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