Roots, Rock, Reggae can’t fail to impress.

Jeremy Marre’s superlative Beats of the Heart series of documentary finally makes its long overdue transfer to DVD format with 1977’s Roots, Rock, Reggae the first to be released alongside Salsa and Rhythm of Resistance.

By combining a series of intimate performances from the likes of Jimmy Cliff, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Bob Marley with snapshots of wider Jamaican life, Marre has created a work that exudes soul and creativity. What’s more, the genre’s further impact on society is examined in a style that furthers the viewer’s knowledge without ever patronising or declining into more studious territory.

Marre’s priority is to let the protagonists speak for themselves and this gives the film a first-hand tone that some documentaries fail to achieve. With the package completed with a thorough booklet discussing the film’s making, six additional bonus tracks, a commentary from Marre and a selection of photography, Roots, Rock, Reggae can’t fail to impress.

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