Everybody knows the name Bob Marley; many knew him as the reggae legend, musician or poet others had known him as a mythical leader, preacher and Rastafarian icon. But until now no one had come quite so close to discovering him as a man, a father, lover and leader.
‘Marley’ the documentary see’s Kevin Macdonald the critically acclaimed director of One Day In September and Touching The Void, world renowned producers Steve Bing and Charles Steel join forces with the Marley family and many of Marley’s closest friends. Bringing to light the ultimate, authorized and uncut story of Bob Marley’s life and legacy.
Macdonald and Shangri-la Entertainment sort to shed light upon the mystery and unanswered questions that remain thirty years after his untimely death. Hoping to learn more about a man who remains almost as enigmatic as he is beloved. Macdonald explains, ‘the question I wanted to answer in making the film, was: why does he still speak to people around the world (because it’s clear he does) and why does he speak to people much more profoundly than any other rock artist or popular music artist…. What I was fascinated to try to do in this film was make something very personal. Who is this man?’
Macdonald collated interviews with Marley’s friends and family embracing the almost folktale mystique of his upbringing in native St Ann’s-Jamaica, sharing tales of his illusive father and memories of his musically inspired adolescence. By enlisting Neville Garrick and Bunny Wailer, his producer Chris Blackwell, wife Rita, children Ziggy and Cedella and not forgetting numerous girlfriends. (This list is not exhaustive). And with the final list of contributors topping forty, Macdonald cleverly creates a unified narrative voice providing a more than insightful portrait of the legend. They’re first hand experience tells the story of his journey from trench town to global stardom, reminiscing his last performance in September of 1980 to the secrets of his final days. The audience are invited to share in sentimental, poignant and often humorous memoirs.
The history of Marley’s political and spiritual influence upon his homeland is amplified by a host of moral quotations, which define why Marley became a symbol of hope. Macdonald describes him as a voice telling them: ‘Your turn will come. You’re down now but you’re going to get up there’.
‘Marley’ provides the viewer with vivid detail depicted through original sound recordings and never seen before footage from the Marley family archive. However it doesn’t quite match a rating as phenomenal as its subject. Although the story deserved to be told in its entirety the lengthy duration of the film (a good two and half hours) unfortunately made it difficult to concentrate on the later part of his life. This aside it is a must see of 2012 which will equip you with great a general knowledge base were you ever to come across a music legends section on your local pub quiz.
Marley is released in UK cinemas 20th April 2012.
Words: Paula May Evans