Portia Simpson Miller made significant history in Jamaica in March 2006 when she elected by her peers in the People’s National Party (PNP) as the leader of that party to succeed the retiring party leader Percival J Patterson. Simultaneously she made further history as Jamaica’s first female prime minister Five years later, after having led the PNP to defeat in the 2007 general elections, she lead the party to defeat the JLP in 2011 She remained as prime minister until February 2016, when the JLP narrowly defeated her administration, and in March 2017 she retired as party leader and member of parliament.
‘Break Every Rule’
On Sunday, February 24, the life and work of Simpson Miller will be portrayed in a biopic film ‘Break Every Rule’ when it with the premiers at Carib 5, a movie-theater in St Andre, Jamaica.
The film, written and directed by Jamaican filmmaker, Lennie Little-White, portrays Simpson Miller’s life from her childhood in her birthplace, the rural community of Woodhall, St Catherine, her entrance into Jamaican politics as a young woman MP representing the PNP in South-west St. Andrew in 1976 to her attainment of Jamaica’s highest political office, and her tenures as prime minister
The film is one of several in a series being produced by Little-Whyte portraying historical modern Jamaicans. Other Jamaicans to be included in the series include the late scholar and cultural icon Professor Rex Nettleford, artist Barrington Watson, and another cultural icon, folklorist Louise (Miss Lou) Bennett Coverley.
The film ‘ Break Every Rule’ is a 52-minute-long production. According to report Little-Whyte began researching and collecting data for this project in early 2017, when Simpson Miller retired. The report also had Little-White explaining the feature is formatted to seem as it is a television news report with very little narration. The fil incudes few re-enacted scenes and footage from the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation, Super Supreme Television, and CVM TV.
Music is a bridge in the film
He told the Jamaican Observer, “We have used music as a bridge and coupled with Portia’s own words used these to tell the story. The music plays a key role as she wanted the work to appeal to the ordinary man in the street. We have included the music of Jimmy Cliff, Pam Hall, Etana, Richie Stephens, Shaggy, Boris Gardiner, Tarrus Riley, Peter Lloyd, Jon Williams and Gussie Clarke.
“There are basically 17 highlights which we have focused on including the influence of her mentors, trade unionist Hopeton Caven, politician Tony Spaulding and former prime ministers Michael Manley and PJ Patterson; her work to build the tourism product following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, her work with the Jamaican farm work program, and the activity that now occupies her time, The Portia Simpson Miller Foundation which provides scholarships for young people,” he continued.
Testimonials have also been included from overseas individuals, , including American congresswoman Maxine Waters and Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley.