Land of Look Behind (1982)

USA, 90 min

In this documentary on the Rastafarians in Jamaica, director Alan Greenberg interviews some Jamaicans whose conversations suggest that the smoking of ganja, the worship of Haile Selassie (the former Ethiopian emperor) as a god, and the goal of Jamaican self-realization is their own kind of unified field theory. A young, poverty-stricken teenager listens to the reggae music on his radio as though it will magically lead him to a better future, and a pineapple cutter living in the “baddest” area of the island dreams of fomenting tourism in his exotic surroundings. The May, 1981 funeral of Bob Marley brought Christian and Rastafarian beliefs together in tribute to the island’s hero, providing one of the most poignant vignettes in the Land of Look Behind.

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