Silvestre Jacobi

Silvestre Jacobi

Film director


Originally published on on August 2007


Silvestre Jacobi is the Argentinean director of Roots Time, a movie about a mobile record shop in Jamaica.

How did you get into directing?
I’d always been a painter, but a friend of mine got me interested in making movies, which led me to study it in New York City.

Why movie on Jamaica and Rastafarian culture?
I’ve been in love with the culture since I was very young because of reggae music and the Rastafarian movement. As I learned more about the culture, I thought it would be an appropriate subject for my first feature film, because it was colorful and had a positive message.

What kind of message did you want to deliver?
First, I wanted to make a movie that real Rastafarians would like; at the end of the film, there is a message dedicated to them. Second, I wanted to show that even within the same culture there can be opposing personalities, meaning that any movement is made up of distinct individuals.

How was working with non-professional actors?
It took me almost two months to find the cast—I had to show them that I wanted to do a serious project and that I wasn’t in it solely for money. It was difficult in the beginning, but things got better as we progressed. I gave the cast space to express themselves, so that acting became natural and spontaneous.

Any behind the scene stories?
A lot! If you want to know them all, check out The Making of Roots Time. One story I like to tell people is about the scene where a farmer gets in a car with a pig. But since pig is like the devil for Rastafarians, they refused to keep shooting the scene!

What do you plan to do next?
As far as filmmaking goes, I am interested in continuing to focus on distinct cultural and ethnic groups. I’ve been traveling the past few months to Peru and Bolivia, and I’ve become interested in the shaman culture there.

Roots Time opened Sep 1 2007.