Exodus Movement of Jah People


1995, producer and director: Mark Saunders, 45 mins, beta sp, color, 10 mins (excerpts), film available through www.spectacle.co.uk, also with French subtitles, German and Italian dubbing.

Squatting and renovating decayed buildings, the Exodus movement pursues a quest to regenerate their disaffected community. Exodus offers work and viable solutions to many of society’s ills like poverty, crime, drugs, unemployment, and the breakdown of community. Exodus blends a mixture of Rastafarianism, new-age punk, and streetsmart politics.

An introduction
The Luton based Exodus Collective came into existence in 1992 as part of the growing DIY culture, which arose in response to unemployment, poverty, and frustration amongst young people. They organized free “rave” parties, renovated derelict homes, and set up a community farm. Some of their activities border on illegality, but they are peaceful. Their philosophy has a spiritual strand, appealing to notions of community and justice in its struggle for survival and renewal. However, their utopian project presents a challenge to the status quo and has met with powerful opposition. Exodus from Babylon investigates the intricate web of this opposition, from aggressive policing to local government obstruction. It reveals the shift in policing from reactive peacekeeping to proactive intervention, involving a series of special operations by Bedfordshire Police.