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A Bob “MARLEY” documentary by “The Last King of Scotland” Director, Kevin Macdonald. Need I say more? Article by Sharon Abella
Just when you thought films couldn’t get any better, MARLEY is 145 minutes of pure perfection!!!
So you think you know all about the life of the “Legend”ary Rastafarian roots, rock, reggae performer from Jamaica, but I guarantee you, you will learn a lot about the man and the music that you did not already know. The film starts off in Elmina, Ghana, West Africa at the infamous Castle of St. George d’Elmina, where during the slave trade in the late 1400s, military forts were holding places for captured Africans, who would then later walk through “the door of no return,” and set sail for Europe and the Americas on slave ships. Today, more than 25 of the forts remain, and Elmina and Cape Coast Castle, have been designated World Heritage Sites by the U.N. Much like Rome, Mecca, and Jerusalem, African-Americans make cultural pilgrimages to Elmina, to learn more about the area.
From the dark history in Ghana, the film cuts to a musical montage of a long dreadlocked, Bob Marley performing and going wild on stage, to aerial shots over the green, rolling mountains in Jamaica.
You will start to feel irie, and venture off on a musical, cultural, and spiritual crusade.
Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley was born in Nine Mile, a small village in St Ann Parish, set in the countryside of Jamaica. His father was a Caucasian British Army Captain, while his mother was a black local. Bob never felt like he fit in. “A real key for me,” says Director, Kevin Macdonald, “was trying to understand the importance to Bob’s life. He was of mixed race. It’s hard for some of us in Europe and America to understand the stigma that is attached to that. Bob came from the deep countryside, one of the truly black parts of Jamaica. He felt that stigma attached to being of mixed race, and not just from the white side of the island, but from the black side also.”
The living conditions were substandard, so Bob Marley turned to his music. He saw the guitar as a way out to a better life. Humble, shy, and quiet, Bob, had a seriousness about him, a passion for faith, for music, and for people, sharing his feelings about racial oppression through his lyrics, while reaching out for love.
Kevin Macdonald’s summation of MARLEY is a testament to the deeper insight he has achieved: “I feel that one of the reasons Bob has lived on is because he speaks to the oppressed people of the world, be they in the United States, or Britain, or Germany, but more than anything else, he speaks to people in the developing world who feel like they’ve been given a bum deal, who feel they’ve been hopped over by the West, or whatever. And here’s a voice telling them, ‘Your turn will come. You’re down now, but you’re going to get up there.’”
Release date: 4/20, simultaneously in theaters, digitally, and through video on demand.
Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Article by Sharon Abella
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