Following on from her celebrated book – The First Rasta – my long time friend, French music journalist and occasional contributor to Straight No Chaser, Hélène Lee, has collaborated with Christophe Farnarier, and directed a compelling portrait of Leonard “Gong” Howell’s life.
The initiator and catalyst of the Rastafari Movement, Howell (1893-1981) is considered by many as its founder. The film follows the trail of a forgotten and overlooked, yet central character in the history of this movement.
In 1915, Leonard Percival Howell, boarded a banana boat and set sail from Jamaica. On his travels he encountered an array of thinkers: adepts of the New Thought and Bolshevism, anarchists and Gandhi followers, free-thinkers and Garveyites; each of whom is looking for some kind of Promised Land.
After 18 years of travel Howell arrives back to Jamaica with a head full of new ideas and in 1939 he creates Pinnacle, the first…
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