CPH:DOX, Sheffield, New Directors/New Films, Sarasota, Montclair
An essay offering a meditation on Jamaican identity, history, and spirituality.
Loosely framed around the three trimesters of a black woman’s pregnancy, Allah’s latest experimental portrait hones in on Jamaica, where his own mother was born. Separating sound from image, the meandering testimonies of a range of residents are presented, from the sacred to the profane. The commentary of sex workers coexists with lessons in the nation’s struggles for emancipation from colonial rule; the history of Christianity’s development on the island gives way to out there cosmological beliefs. The polyphonic personal merges with the communal national, creating a poetic, multivalent portrait of identity – one that is often not particularly legible to outsiders, but hypnotic and frustrating in equal measure. It’s a project that’s decidedly not made for a general audience but is likely to elicit a level of recognition on its home turf.