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The life of the great legendary singer Robert Nessa Marley, otherwise known as Bob Marley, is depicted in the documentary Marley. If you are a Marley fan, I know you have already watched this and may have many feelings about it. If you have not seen it- you need to. According to Bob Marley’s official web page, Marley is the “definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary and legend from his early days, to his rise to international superstardom.” The documentary was produced by his son Ziggy Marley and directed by Kevin McDonald. It was released on April 20, 2012 in film and on demand. Marley highlights inspirational facts about Marley that serves as clarification to his fans: why he is such an important reggae icon. The film indeed presents Bob Marley in a way that recognized his mission in the music industry, but failed to piece together the real Bob Marley the world really wanted to hear about. This documentary featured incredible performances and interviews with people that knew Bob Marley the best.
It was heartwarming to see those that were close to Marley, because they spoke about him with much respect. You had his mom Cedella Booker Marley, Bunny Livingston, Mrs. James (Marley’s first music teacher), his Aunt Amy, Rita Marley, his daughter Cedella and son Ziggy also spoke about Marley and his message. I appreciate seeing all these people in the film and how the film discloses their role in his life.
When watching the documentary in my home, my mother proclaimed that she had no knowledge that he was half white. My mother, who is Jamaican, then told me she does not think many Jamaicans know that he is half white which is interesting. Marley does an excellent job depicting the life of Bob Marley and clarifying facts. According to the documentary, Bob Marley is from Saint Ann Jamaica. Nile Mile is his birthplace and many others in his family because they were all born in his grandmother’s Yaya’s home. His mother is a black woman from Jamaica and his father is a white man from England whom Marley had only seen a couple of times. Growing up, Bob Marley represented controversy and was called an “outcast”. He was rejected by society because he was neither white nor black. Marley transferred all of that negative energy to his music and his faith in the Rastafarian culture. In the documentary, Bob Marley states in a pre -recorded interview, “Me don’t deh pon no body side. Me don’t deh pon the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me deh pon God side,” which shows how profound and inspirational Bob Marley is.
While watching the film, I admired the creative choice of Ziggy and Kevin McDonald. They played tunes from Bob Marley to those that were people interviewed. Immediately, you can witness the love in their eyes and the effect his music had over him. I also admired seeing clips of pre-recorded interviews of Bob Marley, his live performances, and people I thought I will never see. The documentary highlights how Bob Marley was a revolutionary song writer; he wrote lyrics that showed how he was a rebel. I had wished to see more footage of Bob Marley where I could get a picture of what type of man he was. The documentary I felt lacked a lot more information of the real Bob Marley. The world got the Bob Marley whose sole purpose was uniting people through his music.
Bob Marley, or Robbie as his family calls him, is a world-known icon. Marley depicts Marley’s way out of the ghetto and his how his love for music united black and whites together. He had one mission – spread Haile Selassie I and the faith of Rastafarianism through his music. Marley is a documentary you have to see.