Top positive review
72 people found this helpful
on 2 May 2012
It is hard to see how this documentary of the late,great, Bob Marley could ever be improved upon.Marley's admirers are fortunate in having the services of a director of the stature of Kevin Macdonald to record the life,thoughts and music of one of the most important cultural figures of the late 20th Century.
Many film makers would have been overwhelmed by the scope of the project,but Macdonald,while deeply respectful,pays tribute to his subject from a standing position, looking him in the eye rather than from bended knees.
One of the strongest points of the film is it's well chosen interviews.Those you would expect are there,Rita Marley,Bunny Livingston and a clutch of Wailers,but also present and adding colour and flavour to the project are,Bob's Cousins,friends and lovers,even his first teacher,God knows how old she must be, but she talks well and even sings in a strong voice.
We see all of the defining moments of his life,his breakthrough to international acclaim,the assassination attempt,the Peace Concert (who could forget his calling Manley and Seaga on stage and forcing them to clasp hands despite their obvious reluctance ?) and the outpouring of grief mixed with celebratory pride in his life, at his laying to rest.
The music is very well chosen.Of course the hits are here,but so are little-known early songs.Music and visuals are carefuly blended to enhance our understanding of the man and his message.There is no question of an extended music video intended to promote a soundtrack album here.
Some may carp that the movie is too long,but a life of such importance demands a great deal of attention.
I suspect that what would give Marley the greatest pleasure about this production would be that it explores in depth , his Rasta philosophy and it's cultural,social and political context.
Genuine fans would not want this film to suggest that Bob was perfect,indeed he would be the last to deny he had flaws,there are hints of tensions in the Marley family,it could not have been easy to live in the shade of a great man.The overwhealming impression we get however, is that of a very human, and very humane, man.His last words in the movie,which come over as deeply sincere,tell us that he has no ambition but to see everyone live together as one.Sadly he was taken from us too early to winess this,but God,or Jah,grant that it one day may be so.