Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
France/USA, 2006. Herold and Family, Lawrence Pictures. Screenplay by Jerome Laperrousaz. Cinematography by Jean-Marie Dreujou. Produced by Pascal Herold. Film Editing by Delphine Desfons. Toronto International Film Festival 2006.
Jerome Laperoussaz captures the reggae scene in Jamaica, past and present, by filming performances and interviewing artists who range from seventies superstars to the dance hall mavericks of today. The music blares loud and gorgeous from your speakers between observations about the political movement that sparked the genre in the beginning, but the talk never goes on too long before another song comes along. As good an attempt as it is to capture the phenomenon of this music, however, Laperoussaz seems to deliberately ignore examining the giant shift that reggae took between the soulful beats that spoke of economic and political oppression and the sometimes clumsier sexual obsession that occupies present day artists. Otherwise, fans of the genre will be in heaven and everyone else will find themselves instantly converted.