Friday, June 29, 2012


He loved music, football and ganja and I loved him. 

Ever since I was a foetus, Bob Marley's music has been infiltrating my psyche. Exodus was the soundtrack to my childhood and red, yellow and green was everywhere. So I was obviously geed to learn of the making of the Marley movie and that we didn't have to wait a million years for it to be distributed in Australia. It was only fitting that I attended a screening with the man that passed on his passion for the Rastafari; my papa.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald, Marley basically takes you along Bob's life journey. From his clean-shaven youth, through his meteoric rise and the heartbreaking end. Scored throughout by his many classic songs, and featuring interviews with family members, musicians and politicians, this film offers a comprehensive look at the Legend's career and influence on popular and political culture.

Having said that, it still wasn't comprehensive enough for me. Like any Marley fiend, I wanted more; even though, for some, it might already be too much. The film goes for over two hours and I'm sure fans won't mind that running time but it can get a little tedious. I never realised the weight of his influence on the Jamaican social and political environments and the film did a lot to educate me on that. I mean, you're a certified Big Deal if you're a nation's only defence against political unrest. 

But we all know what the audience really wants...personal drama.

I tend to stay away from drama in my actual life as much as possible. I am, however, more than happy to witness other people's drama play out on a big (or small) screen. They touched briefly on Bob's popularity with the ladies - and had quite frank interviews with his wife Rita and simultaneous girlfriend Cindy. But with family-run Tuff Gong Productions at the helm, the private life of the notoriously shy Bob was decidedly capped.

Ziggy and Cedella Marley were the only children featured in the film and it was heartwarming (and heartbreaking) to hear some of their accounts and memories of their father. Though with 11 kids in the Marley lineage, some of which are notable musicians in their own right and personal favourites of mine (hello, Damian!), I would have liked to have seen more of his seeds featured. It is, after all, through them that the Marley name lives on as strong as it does today.

But now I'm just being a finicky bitch. There's no pleasing a fanatic. 

But if you have any interest in reggae music or Bob Marley at all, you need to watch this film. To see and hear the man at work is mesmerising. And despite his obvious character flaws, the fondness in the faces of his peers and loved ones is a testament to how inspiring he really was. 

Brilliant. Revolutionary. Legend.

Marley is showing now, in selected cinemas.


One of my favourite videos ever of the man. Stir it up.

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