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Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle
A film by Pascale Obolo
Trinidad & Tobago/France/US, 2011, 85 minutes, Color, DVD, English, Subtitled (French)
Order No. W121081
An exuberant and inspiring ambassador for the Caribbean, Calypso Rose is the uncontested and much decorated diva of Calypso music. With more than 800 recorded songs, she continues to be a pioneer and champion of women’s rights, as she travels the world making music. French-Cameroonian filmmaker Pascale Obolo spends four years with Calypso Rose on a very personal journey. Traveling to Paris, New York, Trinidad and Tobago and to her ancestral home in Africa, we learn more about Calypso Rose in each place, and the many faces and facets of her life. The daughter of an illiterate Trinidadian fisherman, Calypso Rose was one of ten children, who at the age of 9 was sent to live with relatives in Tobago. At 15 she wrote her first song and launched a career that took her to the top of the male-dominated calypso world. This creative film is not only about memory and the exchange and discovery of world cultures, but also about the journey of a remarkable woman, an Afro-Caribbean soul and an exemplary artist.


  • Festival International du Film de Ourdah, Jury Mention
  • DC International Film Festival
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
  • International Black Women's Film Festival
  • Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO)
  • Sierra Leone International Film Festival

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    “[T]his documentary is not only a tribute to the first female Tobagonian calypso artist but also to the Caribbean women of the African Diaspora at large, whose struggles find voice in the eight hundred calypso lyrics Rose composed drawing on the spirit of her African ancestry.”
    Dr. Claudia Brazzale, AAUW Fellow
    Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University

    "[A]n unflinching look at the story of a woman who…found herself trapped in a cage of violence, and broke out to become a major artist and, in Rose's case, cleared a path for other women to follow."
    Dr. Kim Johnson, Senior Research Fellow
    University of Trinidad and Tobago

    “[A]n intimate portrait about the “Grande Dame” of Calypso… Reveals her personal story, her groundbreaking musical achievements, her commitment to defend women´s rights, her faith, her worries and fears and above all her strong love of life and people.”
    Bijan Tehrani
    Cinema Without Borders

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    Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us