Review: ‘One Love – Story of Rastafarians’ Return From Babylon To Zion’

Not the most original title for a docu on the dreadlock-sporting worshipers of Haile Selassie, "One Love -- Story of Rastafarians' Return From Babylon to Zion" focuses on those adherents who moved to Ethiopia following the Emperor's call for a return to Africa. Docu might find takers on the Discovery Channel.

Not the most original title for a docu on the dreadlock-sporting worshipers of Haile Selassie, “One Love — Story of Rastafarians’ Return From Babylon to Zion” focuses on those adherents who moved to Ethiopia following the Emperor’s call for a return to Africa. Frosh Czech helmer Petr Zahradka has a great topic, but seems unsure what to do with the material, going light on the explanations precisely when they’re most needed. First of a proposed trilogy on the Rastafari, docu might find takers on the Discovery Channel.

Best known for their fondness for marijuana as a religious catalyst, the Rastafari, originating in Jamaica, consider Haile Selassie to be an incarnation of the Trinity, and Marcus Garvey their chief prophet. Babylon for them is the world outside of Africa, so when Selassie offered land to victims of the diaspora, Rastafari saw the journey as a return to Zion. Zahradka interviews adherents now in Ethiopia, though disappointingly he fails to include a female voice. Episodic structure makes material seem thin, while subtitles would be welcome for the more heavily accented speakers. Lensing is consistently attractive, with nice color saturation.

One Love - Story of Rastafarians' Return From Babylon To Zion

Czech Republic

Production

A Film Industry, FAMU, Bionaut Films production. (International sales: Bionaut Films, Prague, Czech Republic.) Produced by Jiri Mika, Petr Zahradka. Co-producer, Vratislav Slajer. Directed, written by Petr Zahradka.

Crew

Camera (color, 16-to-35mm), Tomas Sysel; editor, Martin Marecek. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Time & Tide), Jan. 28, 2006. English dialogue. Running time: 78 MIN.

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