Spring is finally arriving and so are the two major documentary film festivals in Canada: Hot Docs in Toronto and DOXA in Vancouver.
One of last year’s sensations at Hot Docs was a music documentary called RiseUp. The doc directed by Luciano Blotta was filmed in Jamaica over the past five years.
As part of the Doc Soup program that brings the best of the Hot Docs Festival to cities around Canada, I had the chance to watch the documentary in Vancouver on April 15th, 2010.
RiseUP is a journey into the musical heart of Jamaica. It follows the evolution over five years of an coming reggae star from the ghetto, an uptown white boy that wants to be a reggae star and a girl from a rural area that is about to become, unexpectedly, a well-known singer.
The most interesting part is to see what music means to everyone and, specifically, what reggae music means to Jamaica. It’s a good approach, featuring inspiring moments and interviews with reggae legends like Lee Perry or Sly and Robbie. The film lacks a genuine connection to the everyday lives of the characters even with its unnecessarily long running time.
Besides that, you won’t be disappointed if you ever have the chance to watch it.