World Cinema Amsterdam | Internationaal filmfestival | 18 – 27 Augustus 2016

Songs of Redemption

Amanda Sans & Miquel Galofr | Jamaica, Spain | 2013 | 78 | English |English subtitles
Songs of Redemption

Hope keeps us alive. This may sound like a silly truism, but for the inmates of the Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility in Kingston, Jamaica, its a real thing that keeps them going, as is revealed in Barcelona-born director Miquel Galofrs harsh, but also heart-warming documentary.

The old prison, once a holding area for African slaves, used to be an obscure place that barely allowed for a humane existence. Most inmates, many of whom convicted for serious crimes, left the prison in a worse state than when they were arrested. Through the inspiring efforts of superintendent Leroy Fairweather times have changed. With support from the European Union a rehabilitation programme centred on training, culture and music was initiated. Music has become a major outlet; the inmates choose powerful tunes of various Jamaican reggae heroes to regale their often-tragic life stories, disappointments, but also expectations for the future. The programmes effect is huge, not only for the participants, but also for their non-participating fellow inmates. Instead of hopeless defeatism an atmosphere of respect and hope has started to permeate the old building.

Rialto: Sat 10 aug 22:00 
Rialto: Sun 11 aug 14:30