Tue | Jan 26, 2021

‘Inna De Yard’ for virtual Last Sundays

Published:Saturday | November 28, 2020 | 12:05 AM
Award-winning film-maker, Peter Webber.
Award-winning film-maker, Peter Webber.

For its virtual Last Sundays November 29, the National Gallery of Jamaica, in association with the Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA), will feature an online screening of the film Inna De Yard, followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Peter Webber.

More than 30 years after their golden age, a band of singers gather for the recording of a new album before embarking on a world tour. Ken Boothe, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus I, Judy Mowatt, and Cedric Myron, the famous lead of the Congos, are but a few voices of reggae in this film. These artistes have known each other for years and they have contributed greatly to the development of reggae. They have sung with the greats and rubbed shoulders with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff. For the project Inna de Yard, they have reunited to revisit the biggest tracks of their repertoire and record a unique acoustic album, returning to the sources of their music. On this occasion, they will share the microphone with younger singers, representatives of the new reggae stage, uniting their energy in a collective, powerful vibration.

In this film, Webber takes viewers along for the recording of the album, which will be the soundtrack as well as the everyday life of the singers for several weeks. His aim is to get to grips with reggae and at the same time witness the intimate lives of some of the legendary personalities that helped to create it. Built around a series of portraits and giving star billing to the reggae music that will permeate it from beginning to end, the film invites viewers on a visceral and musical voyage to discover reggae and some of the fascinating people who create and perform it every day.

Growing up in West London in the 1970s, Webber was surrounded by reggae music. There was a large and well-established Jamaican community and the Notting Hill Carnival, the capital’s biggest street party, throbbed to the sounds of it. He was a fan of The Clash, who often promoted reggae music and that affected him deeply. His record collection was soon filled with reggae albums, and he sought out iconic reggae films such as The Harder They Come and Rockers. Webber eventually visited Jamaica and saw the opportunity for stories to be told through the intersection of the old and new generations of reggae.