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'Journey To Jah' Now on DVD

Published:Sunday | September 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

The documentary Journey to Jah, featuring European-reggae singers Alborosie and Gentleman, is now available on DVD. The film, which premiered at the Zurich Film Festival earlier this month, will now be able to reach a wider audience with this new phase.

The short film chronicles the story of both artistes and their success in the local music industry. According to the film's official Facebook page, the effort was seven years in the making and tracks both entertainers on their journey to finding a spiritual home in a foreign country. Co-directed by Noel Dernesch, Moritz Springer and Marcus Winterbauer, Journey To Jah is a German-Swiss production, which also features Jamaican musicians Damian Marley and Richie Stephens, both having worked with Alborosie and Gentleman during their career.

Alborosie, who is from Sicily in Italy, first came to Jamaica in the 1990s and has since established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the business of music. Listed as one of the best touring acts in contemporary reggae, he has had several hit songs, among them a mega-hit collaboration with Etana titled Jah Jah Blessing.

Gentleman, a German native, has also built a name for himself in the local industry, with one of his biggest hits being Intoxication. He also recently released a new single featuring Shaggy which has been receiving good rotation on the airwaves.

Music as an escape

According to the documentary's official website, it not only highlights the journeys of both artistes, but also shows how music can be used as a means of countering poverty, crime and hopelessness. It shows Alborosie and Gentleman trodding the streets of Kingston's inner cities in an effort to expose Jamaica's vulnerabilities. In the film, Alborosie summed it up perfectly when he said, "God lives here. But Satan too." Visions of the conditions under which 'poor people' live in Kingston's inner cities are contrasted with the word often used to describe the country: 'paradise'.

In a bid to keep the film balanced, the film-makers also speak with literature professor, Dr Carolyn Cooper. Her academic insight on the subject of Rasta culture and reggae adds some amount of authenticity to the production as viewers are given a better understanding of the Jamaican culture.

The film will premiere in Poland this weekend and is also available for purchase on iTunes.