Inna de Yard
The Soul of Jamaica

Peter Webber
France  |  2018  |  99 min.

While Bob Marley may be most closely associated with the heyday of reggae music, there are others who did not achieve international stardom, ones who remain popular in Jamaica and among reggae fans, singers and songwriters who maintain the spiritual and social values reflected in their music from the 70s and 80s. Now they will once again sing about those values, as relevant as ever, on an international tour.

 

Inna de Yard captures the musicians — among them Ken Boothe, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus I, and Cedric Myton — as they reacquaint, swap stories, and talk of their lives as they rehearse in a studio in the hills above Kingston in a house adorned with hundreds of old LPs and 45s from back in the day.

 

Director Peter Webber spends time with them individually — also getting thoughts from singer Judy Mowatt — and it is clear the joyous, infectious music they are about to perform is much more than some sort of nostalgia trip. Inna de Yard captures the ongoing relevance of reggae, social values, and the music’s passion to revitalize an older generation while passing it on to younger listeners.

Peter Webber (1968, Great Britain) made his first short film The Zebra Man (1992) immediately after graduating from film school. Working as a documentary director, his subjects ranged from Wagner to crash test dummies via a series on the creatures of the deep oceans.

 

Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003), starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth, marked Webber’s impressive feature film debut. The film received numerous accolades, including three Academy Award Nominations, two Golden Globe Nominations, ten BAFTA Award Nominations and many others.

 

Webber was then asked by Dino de Laurentis to direct Hannibal Rising  (2008), based on Thomas Harris’ book of the same name and starring Gaspard Ulliel and Li Gong. In 2012, Peter’s, Emperor, a war drama starring Matthew Fox and Tommy Lee Jones, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Inna de Yard: The Soul of Jamaica is his third feature documentary after Ten Billion and Earth: One Amazing Day.

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