22-28 Sept 2021
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The First Rasta

The First Rasta

LONG BEFORE Bob Marley sang about the divinity of Haile Selassie and the sacredness of ganja, Leonard Percival “Gong” Howell preached that heady gospel. This documentary tells the story of the man whom some claim as the founding father of Rastafarianism, from his days in Harlem as a Marcus Garvey disciple, to the time he spent leading the self-reliant Pinnacle community in Jamaica’s Maroon country. Music by the Abyssinians and others round out this revealing film.

The First Rasta (2010)


France, Jamaica






Helene Lee

Helene Lee

Helene Lee

Helene Lee is a scholar of Rasta culture. For the past forty years, as a journalist, author and translator, she has contributed in promoting black artists, thinking and music, from Africa to the Caribbean. The First Rasta is her first feature-length documentary.

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