Hallelujah Anyhow

Director: Matthew Jacobs
Screenwriters: Jean Binta Breeze, Matthew Jacobs

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


Vividly capturing not only the visual authenticity of a London Afro-Caribbean community but also its spirit, Matthew Jacobs has delicately woven a tale about a strong woman preacher forced to reassess her life when a former lover appears. The film’s strength lies not only in its depiction of the simple complexities of an individual woman’s life, but also in the way it assembles a portrait of the broader familial, communal, moral and spiritual ties which both support and pressure her. Its success in capturing a genuine Jamaican atmosphere can no doubt be traced to the well-known Jamaican poet Jean Binta Breeze, who cowrote the script with first-time director Matthew Jacobs. “I wanted to make a film about the sexual politics of religion, a spiritual love story,” says Jacobs. The presence of the London Community Gospel Choir and a congregation made up of members of London’s gospel churches lends the film a sense of documentary realism as well as filling it with song. Hallelujah Anyhow is a spirited film that vibrates with energy and emotion.

— David Alberico

Screening Details

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