Vice journalist and documentarian Andy Capper got some pretty great access to West coast hip hop superstar Snoop Dogg as he goes on a spiritual journey to Jamaica to connect with his rastafarian soul. A documentary crew follows the rapper’s journey as he smokes a lot (I mean, really a lot) of herb, visits Bob Marley’s hometown, records a reggae album, and ultimately reinvents himself as Snoop Lion. With the help of some US collaborators such as producer Diplo and some newfound Jamaican friends such as Bunny Wailer, the reggae icon who was once an original member of the Wailers alongside Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, the resulting album sounds pretty good.
If you’re a Snoop Dogg fan, Reincarnated offers a lot of candid moments of the hip hop icon as well as a West Coast Rap 101 lesson about his roots in Death Row Records, the deaths of Tupac and his close friend & collaborator, Nate Dogg, and even a little bit about his (at times troubled) marriage to his high school sweetheart, Shante, who also appears briefly in the film and seems about as chill and down to earth as any rap superstar’s wife could possibly be. Girl doesn’t even wear makeup.
The film is structured as a spiritual journey, and while there are moments of depth in it, the whole thing seems a little bit like an excuse for Snoop to get epically high with some of his heroes (such as the aforementioned Wailer) and find a way to turn his chronic habit into something, y’know, sacred. There’s a lot of talk about the bond between the American-raised Snoop and his Jamaican counterparts in terms of the poverty, violence and other struggles they had to endure, and it’s kind of touching to see how humbled the big man seems by his interactions with people whose work he obviously deeply respects. But in the end, while this movie is about struggle, spirituality, and the power of music, it’s also about how super awesome Snoop thinks it is to get high all the time.
Is Reincarnated Essential TIFF Viewing?
If the prospect of seeing Snoop outside of a concert setting means a lot to you, then go for it. Otherwise, I think even the most hardcore fans might get more out of this doc if they’re able to watch it in the comfort of their own homes while blazing a huge joint.
Screening Times for Reincarnated
- Saturday September 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm at Scotiabank 10
- Sunday September 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm at Scotiabank 1
More About Reincarnated
Reincarnated Production Gallery
- A brief history of TIFF
- Spotlight On: Toronto Urban Film Festival
- TFS Explains: what media does at TIFF