Wah Do Dem

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Wah Do Dem
Film poster
Directed byBen Chace and Sam Fleischner
Produced byBen Chace, Sam Fleischner, and Katina Faye Hubbard
Written byBen Chace and Sam Fleischner
StarringSam Bones
Distributed byWah Do Dem LLC
Release date
  • June 20, 2009 (2009-06-20) (Los Angeles Film Festival)
  • June 2010 (2010-06) (United States)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited States

Wah Do Dem is an American independent film directed by Ben Chace and Sam Fleischner in 2009 and released in 2010.

The major roles are played by Kevin Bewersdorf, Sean "Bones" Sullivan (of Brooklyn band Sam Champion), and Carl Bradshaw, who played Jose in the 1972 film The Harder They Come.


Brooklyn slacker Max wins two tickets for a Caribbean cruise but ends up travelling alone after being dropped by his girlfriend, Willow. The trip coincides with the 2008 US election, which is won by Barack Obama. After docking in Jamaica a series of misfortunes sees him travelling across the country where he meets several characters, including musicians and a mystic Rastaman.[1]


  • Sean Bones as Max
  • Norah Jones as Willow
  • Carl Bradshaw as 'Mystic Man'
  • Kevin Bewersdorf as 'the creepy guy on the cruise ship'
  • Mark Gibbs as Juvi
  • Ira-Wolf Tuton
  • Patrick Morrison
  • Sheena Irons
  • The Congos as themselves


The film was directed and written by Ben Chace and Sam Fleischner, and contains a cameo by Norah Jones and a live performance by The Congos.[1]

Wah Do Dem was made after Chace won two cruise tickets in real life and bought more for Bones and Bewersdorf in order to make the film.[2][3] He arranged for co-producer Katina Faye Hubbard to meet them in Jamaica, where the film was completed. Filming lasted three weeks in total.[3]

The film features music by MGMT, Yeasayer, Santigold, Suckers, Mykal Rose, Mr. Lexx and The Congos.[1] Ira Wolf Tuton of Yeasayer and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT also appear in the film.[4][5]


The film has a Metacritic score of 54.[6] The New York Times called it a "shaggy road movie about relinquishing your comforts to find your bliss",[1] while the New York Post described it as "slight but satisfying".[7] Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "a misadventure narrative, told via verite-style guerrilla filmmaking", and called it a "dynamic portrait of Jamaica".[8] Slant magazine gave it three stars out of four, calling it "a brief, peripatetic love letter to Jamaican tropes scrawled on hemp stationary [sic]".[9] Total Film gave it three stars out of five, with Kevin Harley describing it as "stylish, observant, fitfully funny and laced with promise".[10] Rob Nelson, reviewing the film for Variety, describe dit as "slight but winning and often funny".[11] Derek Malcolm, writing for the London Evening Standard, viewed the film as "impossible not to like".[12]

The Guardian' reviewer Peter Bradshaw gave it two stars out of five, calling it "a pretty self-indulgent personal project, sketchily conceived and not particularly well acted".[2] Aaron Hillis of The Village Voice called it a "glorified vacation video".[13] The Boston Globe writer Wesley Morris gave the film one star out of five, opining that the directors "don't open any dramatic or emotional door".[14]

Wah Do Dem' won the Jury Award for 'Best Narrative Feature' at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival.[11][15] It has been described as a "mumblecore" film.[8]

DVD release[edit]

The film was released on DVD by Factory 25 in October 2010.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Catsoulis, Jeannette (2010) "Wah Do Dem (What They Do) (2009): Seeking Excitement in Jamaica", The New York Times, June 17, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  2. ^ a b Bradshaw, Peter (2010) "Wah Do Dem", The Guardian, 26 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  3. ^ a b Bitel, Anton "Wah Do Dem", Film 4. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  4. ^ a b Breihan, Tom (2010) "MGMT, Yeasayer, Suckers Members Appear in New Movie Wah Do Dem", Pitchfork Media, May 12, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  5. ^ "MGMT, Yeasayer, Norah Jones appear in new film 'Wah Do Dem'", NME, May 18, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  6. ^ "Wah Do Dem", Metacritic. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  7. ^ Musetto, V.A. (2010) "Tale of Broken Hipster", New York Post, June 18, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  8. ^ a b Linden Sheri (2009) ""Wah Do Dem" a dynamic portrait of Jamaica", The Hollywood Reporter (via Reuters), June 24, 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  9. ^ Lanthier, Joseph Jon (2010) "Film Review: Wah Do Dem", Slant magazine, June 13, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  10. ^ Harley, Kevin (2010) "Reviews: Wah Do Dem", Total Film, September 14, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  11. ^ a b Nelson, Rob (2009) "Review: “Wah Do Dem”", Variety, November 11, 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  12. ^ Malcolm, Derek (2010) "Wah Do Dem is a happy holiday in Jamaica", London Evening Standard, August 27, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  13. ^ Hillis, Aaron (2010) "Norah Jones, MGMT, and Yeasayer Walk Into a Movie -- Why, Wah Do Dem, Why?", The Village Voice, June 15, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  14. ^ Morris, Wesley (2010) "Movie Review: Wah Do Dem", The Boston Globe, June 26, 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  15. ^ "LA-Film-Festival-Website, as seen on Jan 11,2011 Archived 2011-04-06 at the Wayback Machine"

External links[edit]