Jamaica for Sale: New Documentary


Jamaica for Sale, a documentary by Esther Figueroa and Diana McCaulay, was screened in Jamaica last week as part of the 2009 Caribbean Studies Association conference in Kingston.  The film “counters the dominant view that tourism is the savior of the Jamaican people. Lively and hard hitting, with powerful voices, arresting visuals and iconic music, Jamaica for Sale documents the environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of unsustainable tourism development.”

Jamaica for Sale follows on the critique of the irreversible damages inflicted on the Caribbean islands by the tourism industry in works like Polly Pattullo’s Last Resorts: The Cost of Tourism in the Caribbean, Mimi Sheller’s Consuming the Caribbean, and the documentaries Life and Debt and Landscape and Memory. Through powerful interviews and interesting juxtapositions, the film dissects the impact of tourism on the environment and population of Jamaica. It is particularly effective in its environmental message, as it depicts the destructive impact of poorly regulated tourism development on water quality, degraded habitats, and depleted marine species. It brings to life themes familiar to critics of tourism development, like the privatization of coastal lands that leaves Jamaicans without access to beaches and the reduction of the local population to service jobs in the industry through poignant interviews with tourist industry workers. It is also quite effective in looking at the impact of tourism development on the inflation in land and housing prices, which makes owing land in their home island impossible for most Jamaicans.

Information on the film can be found at the directors’ website at http://jamaicaforsale.net/

3 thoughts on “Jamaica for Sale: New Documentary

  1. Hello miss Figueroa, I sincerely hope that you continue in good spirit and health. My name is Olive, a Jamaican living in the United States in Connecticut, yesterday momday March 9th, 2010 I manage to get off work early and had tuned to WBAI Hugh Downs show and I was so ellated to listened to a jamaican on the show and what you brought to the table it was such a pleasere to have a person of your ststus represented our cuontry? and to shed some light on the abuse and explotiation of our people and the land I look forward to hear and to see you on more radio, internet, television shows Ps I would like to introduce you to Dr Ray Hagins from the Afrikan Village in St.Louis Mo. He has a live internet show every sunday at 8pm on WBLR.con and stury group lessons on wednesdars at 8pm WBLR.com please give me updates on your appearance schedule and also how to abtain DVD`s thank you and keep up the excellent work


  2. Dear Miss Figueroa,

    I went to watch Jamaica for Sale on Saturday at the BFI in London. I was somewhat taken back at not only the abuse and total disregard of the Jamaican people but also the academics that commented on the impact the development having on the environment. I suppose when I look at the word “development” I think of improvement, betterment and other positive images. However, this is not what I witnessed in the film or in fact on my visit to Jamaica in Feb and April 2010. The sprawling walls that encase “the precious tourist” in the “all inclusive” excuse for excess infuriates me as more and more of the Island is lost to those who have no real right to it!

    At the end film there was discussion. I was under the impression this space would explore ways in which this situation could be addressed and challenged and provide opportunity by which “we” the audience could get involved and support. This was not the case and now I feel along with the 4Sight members that I attended, 4Sight is a project that African and Caribbean men who have experienced mental ill health problems and reside in Hackney, East London; quite deflated.

    I am asking for two considerations really, one is be kept abreast of future events or actions that may be taking place to directly challenge what is happening and two if you have any ideas in which I could along with the 4Sight members start a process?

    I would like to also take this opportunity to say how well made the film was and commend you on capturing the spirit of both the Jamaican people and the beautiful Island.

    Kind Regards,



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