Marley The Movie - Marley Day Ireland
I paced, paced, pondered and wondered; how on earth do I begin to write about the documentary which depicts Bob Marley's life, his genius and his Legacy that continues and will forever grow. Whilst some are valued for their impeccable singing and abilities to write songs that move the world, others are honoured for specifically shining their bright torch on and reflecting the social injustices of the world and finally some are immortalized for not only shining their torch but ignoring the clear and present danger to stand up against the injustices and support progress. Uncle Bob Marley as I refer to him was all of this, hence my pondering and wondering.
Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (Last King of Scotland) applies a straightforward approach to the 145 minutes documentary whilst introducing us to some of those who knew him best including wife and Guardian angel Rita, and two of Bob Marley's eleven children. I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing the documentary opening footage of Coast Castle in Ghana, respect to the director and the Marley family for ensuring a well relevant clip that truly addresses and reflects the struggles of Bob Marley kicked off this historic documentary.
Marley The Movie takes us through the humble beginnings of Bob Marley's life at St. Ann -Jamaica in the 1940s, trailing the upbringing and personal background of one of music's and world's most beloved and respected revolutionary icon. Marley then informatively progresses through major milestones as the discovery of music and songwriting, the cutting of his first record (Judge Not) in 1962, the well told story of the formations of the Wailers and even the precise origin of the reggae beat, the gentle chuck guitar riff that makes Bob Marley's music all so intoxicating.
The documentary explores Bob Marley's identity and ideology, his dad was a white British male and his mother Jamaican. He talks about only seeing his father a few times and was often subjected to mocking in school as a youngster. Bob Marley overcame and became a beacon of hope for the Jamaican people and Africa during struggles for independence. He and The Wailers brought songs of freedom all the way to Africa, which Bob Marley always referred to as The Motherland, his home. Historical footages of the April 1980 Bob Marley Zimbabwe tour which - The Wailers performed to celebrate the independence of Zimbabwe from England highlighted the fact that Bob Marley paid out of his personal pocket to get the band across. His personal generosity is highlighted through footage of his compound in Kingston which was appropriately named Hope Road due to the many many times he helped out people in need.
The documentary moves from one archival footage to the next, from his concert stops to his homecoming, modernized by newly compiled interviews from relatives, boyhood friends, his Rastafarian Doctor and including one from Cindy Breakspeare (Crowned Miss World 1976) who was Bob Marley's girlfriend. As a music fan, I was dazzled by the generous amount of songs in the film, an ear feast! Marley The Movie is a must see, even if you know everything about him all already, there is something about the experience that really cannot be described but felt. Such is the success in Ireland that Universal Pictures have announced a Marley Day on the 8th of May on which the film was screened nationally and simultaneously in Irish cinemas. Universal Pictures Ireland along with The Social House also commissioned a unique interactive poster which enlisted the help of Bob Marley fans in Ireland, for one day only the Fans had the opportunity to sign and leave their message for Bob Marley and the poster will be delivered to the Marley family. Much respect to the The Universal Music camp in Ireland for this unique and historic piece, it was an honour to be one the fans that inked the piece. A gesture that will surely create a new generation of Marley Fans.
Marley Movie, a definite must see and The Marley soundtrack is also now available.
Words by: Mark Dutchi Lye