Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae
Director: Stascha Bader

Switzerland, Canada, documentary, 98 min., 2009, lithuanian subtitles
Stascha Bader’s documentary film “Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae” is a nostalgic journey to Jamaica’s golden age of music, rocksteady, which was a successor of ska music and became the precursor to reggae. The genre was born in the 1960s, when Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain and the cultural and social climate of the island changed significantly. The film tells a story about the legendary musicians of that era, many of them still famous now. After 40 years they meet in Kingston, Jamaica, to record an album of rocksteady hits and to perform together. The best known rocksteady songs, “You Don’t Love Me Anymore, No No No”, “Tide Is High” and “Rivers of Babylon” – as well as other hits, are performed in the film. It also features studio recording sessions, rare archival footage from the period and interviews with the performers, reminiscing the days when rocksteady, and then reggae, emerged.

About the director:
Swiss journalist, writer and director Stascha Bader was born in 1956. He studied German and English literature and art history in Zürich. He also studied music, script writing and directing in Berlin, New York and Los Angeles and has worked, for the past 10 years, as a freelance director of television documentaries, music videos and commercials. Stascha Bader started collecting reggae records in the 1970s and his fascination with that music led to his doctoral thesis “Electro-Oral Poetry in Jamaica and England” (1984), which was published in Germany as a book “Words like Fire” (Worte wie Feuer) in 1992. When exploring the history of Jamaican music, the director became acquainted with the early songs from the rocksteady era. Bader‘s first documentary feature “Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae” (2009) is the result of his lifelong interest in Jamaican culture and a tribute to the less known parent of reggae.

Section: Music moves the world

Screenplay: Piotr Jaxa

Music: Moss „Mossman“ Raxlen

Cast: Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, Judy Mowat, Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Hopeton Lewis, Dawn Penn, U-Roy, The Tamlins, Judy Mowatt