Written, directed and produced by Alexandre Gaonach, United We Stand is an edifying documentary that traces the history of sound system culture and more broadly self-managed events in Europe. It is an ardent and honest testimony of several generations of struggle, a work of reference for our community and for our posterity.


Empowered by a form of social realism, the film is, so to speak, capturing real life situations : Most of the sequences were filmed on the spot, in the alternative events that this documentary intends to decipher. A contemporary and enlightened look at this effervescent musical culture, which has been making us dance and reflect since the late 1960s.

 This film is a tribute to a boiling sound system culture, an intrepid enthusiasm for creating events to live together and share, across borders. Alexandre Gaonach's documentary is inspired by a popular and solidarity-based education approach. This is an ambition that the director shares with the sound system community. Committed artistic production contributes to the convergence of struggles. It is therefore a communication and information tool of public interest. The objective is the defense of fundamental human rights, eco-responsibility, self-management, and resistance to all forms of exploitation and oppression.

"Moving forward towards shared dreams, rather than competing ones"

We are very sorry to announce that Alexandre Gaonach left us on May 16th, 2017.

Théophile Hommet (FootPrint System/Adubtion), 20/10/2019

Credits :

- Directed & produced by Alexandre Gaonach
- Edited by Alexandre Gaonach, Théophile Hommet & Muriel Bucher
- Original images, sound & script by Alexandre Gaonach
- Translation & subtitles by Théophile Hommet, Charlotte Ducrocq & Mariana Hernandez
- Sound design & Mix by John Francis Thomason
- Original Artwork & movie poster by Sébastien Chevalier
- Official Website by Cyprien Despres :

We wish to send very special thanks to Patrick & Elizabeth Gaonach, Muriel Bucher, John Thomason, Bastien Otelli, Sébastien Chevalier, and all the people involved in the achievement of this second documentary film.


MUSICALLY MAD takes you into the hearts and heads of the singers and soundmen, the backbone of the UK roots reggae sound systems. With them they bring the deepest bass and the highest chants, delivered by massive stacks of speakers and custom-built sound equipment. For some, attending a sound system dance is a religious experience, channelled through the music and the message. For others it`s the natural way to connect with the music they love. Either way, sound system culture is growing and changing. From their humble beginnings in the backyards of Kingston, Jamaica, sound systems were brought along by Carribean immigrants, gradually gaining a strong following in the UK. As David Katz included extensive essay "Steel Horns And Bass Bins In Blighty" concludes, the dances were crucial in lifting the spirits of the Caibbean exiles, helping them to forget their hardships. Something that reggae and sound system culture now does worldwide, regardless of color or nationality. MUSICALLY MAD is the story of the people pushing reggae to the masses.

Credits :

- Directed by Karl Folke

- Produced by Andreas Weslien