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Documentary discusses Rastafari issues, origins

Published: 
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Dreadlocks Story connects Rastafarians and Hindu saddhus, and the Back to Africa movement with Jamaican East Indians.

Every day of the T&T Film Festival, T&T Guardian columnist and film writer, BC Pires, will be picking a Film of the Day. 

Pires has been writing about film from an informed lay perspective since early 1988 and currently writes a film column, BC on TV, for the Sunday Guardian’s Arts section. 

Pires served on the TTFF’s first jury and wrote the judges’ report. A different film will be picked every day, and other worthwhile films mentioned. Because of the limitations of programming schedules, the film of the day may not necessarily be the “best” one. Films with an asterisk have been or will be daily picks.

Today’s film is:

Dreadlocks Story (Linda Ainouche/2014/ Jamaica-India-France – USA/Documentary/ 83 mins/ English, Hindi, French with English subtitles/ Rated G. Colour) 1.30 pm MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain Q&A.

Linda Ainouche’s documentary may be the most approachable film of this year’s fesitval, and certainly approaches an old documentary subject—Rastafari—from a new angle: Rastafarian dreadlocks themselves. 

The depth of research that underpins the film earns it the title of “scholarly” but the superb editing make it purely conversational and easy to nod along with, even though the main point of the film is to connect Rastafarians and Hindu saddhus, and the Back to Africa movement with Jamaican East Indians. 

The two significant criticisms of what is otherwise a fine and thorough film are that it should have been longer and should have devoted some of that increased runtime to the position of women in Rastafari—though the filmmaker herself might deliberately have chosen not to engage the issue, and to let her film and her gender speak for themselves. 

There is a Q&A after today’s screening where, perhaps, those very questions may be raised and answered. Few films you learn so much from are as enjoyableto watch. 

Recommended like an ital lunch and a big, Bob Marley spliff.

Also consider:

Amy, 8.15 pm, Studio Film Club; 

Without Wings, 4 pm, MovieTowne PoS Screen 1

Gone with the River, 9 pm, MovieTowne PoS Screen 1

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