Film: “Journey to Jah”


Cecelia Campbell-Livingston (Jamaica Observer) writes about Journey to Jah, which premiered September 3, 2014, at the Zurich Film Festival. The film centers on two European reggae singers who have made a mark in Jamaica and on the global stage: Italian singer Alborosie (Alberto D’Ascola) and German singer Gentleman (Tilman Otto).

Campbell-Livingston writes: “Alborosie, who is from Sicily, first came to Jamaica in the 1990s. He has since established himself as one of the best touring acts in contemporary reggae. He has also had several hit songs, the biggest being ‘Jah Jah Blessing’ with Etana. Gentleman, who is from Cologne, has also built a name in Europe and Latin America through constant touring.”

A German-Swiss production, the documentary was co-directed by Noël Dernesch and Moritz Springer.


Description: Journey To Jah is a tale of the seeking and finding of a spiritual home in a foreign culture, one that follows people who are connected by one thing: music. People the two filmmaker meet along the way include Richie Stephens, Damian Marley, and also Natty – driver and friend of Gentleman, who offers them an uncluttered look into the daily struggle for survival, far removed from the picture-book image of the Caribbean island. Professor Carolyn Cooper provides a contrasting intellectual insight into Jamaican politics and culture, while reggae stalwart Jack Radics reveals some astonishing truths. Finally, Dernesch and Springer run across upcoming Jamaican singer Terry Lynn and follow her everyday life walking the streets of the ghettos of Kingston and also inside Berlin’s club scene. Together with the protagonists we delve into a world where music is used as an outlet to confront poverty, criminality and a lack of prospects, but also one that is characterized by a deep and uplifting spiritual bond. A world about which Alborosie says, “God lives here. But Satan too.”

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