Bob Marley's musical (and cultural) shadow is so large that the man clearly needed an authoritative documentary portrait--and Marley
steps in with all the right stuff to fill the role. Working with official rights to the music and access to Marley's family and friends, Oscar-winning documentarian Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September
) creates a thorough account that hits the major points, not stinting on some of the less admirable aspects of Marley's life (including his brood of children fathered with women other than his patient wife, Rita, whose presence indicates just how much she puts Marley's legacy above his personal infidelities). Especially interesting is the sketch of Bob Marley's youth, as a mixed-race--and thus socially ostracized--kid from the village of Nine Mile who began to put together a reggae sound with a group of like-minded musicians in Jamaica in the late '50s and early '60s. That period comes to life, and the account of Marley's ascent, while familiar from such sagas, has its share of offbeat incidents. His death, at age 36 in 1981, does not dominate the movie, but Macdonald does a good job of getting that story laid out. In the meantime, the music and the concert footage are more than enough to justify the movie's existence, and Macdonald makes time to include thoughts about politics, ganja smoking, and Rastafarianism, too. If it's not the final word on Marley, it's an excellent start. --Robert Horton
is the definitive film about one of the most loved international icons of the 20th Century, Bob Marley. His music and message of love and redemption are known throughout the world and his story has finally been brought to life in this definitive work.
Acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland
, State of Play
, Life in a Day
) joined forces with the Marley family to direct the ultimate authorised documentary film on the life, legacy and global impact of one of the most influential musicians in history. Marley
marks the first time ever that Bob’s family has authorised the use of their own private Bob Marley archives.
Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on music history and his role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. His music and message transcend culture, language and creed and resonate around the world today as powerfully as when he was alive. Only a handful of musicians have ever achieved such an impact and Bob Marley, though his life was far too short, stands strongly among them.
“I think what’s great about the film is though there have been a lot of things done on Bob, I think this one will give people a more emotional connection to Bob’s life as a man – not just a reggae legend or a mythical figure, but his life as a man.” – Ziggy MarleyBonus Features:
- Around the World
: Special feature on the relevance of Bob Marley's muisc today