DOCUMENTARY; 2hr 24min
DIRECTED BY: Kevin Macdonald
Get up, stand up: Marley
Robert Nesta Marley, better known to the world as reggae supremo Bob, travelled many miles from his 1946 birth to his way-premature Miami death from cancer in 1981. Born poor in sleepy St Ann, Jamaica, to a black mother and a white father who abandoned them, he recorded his first single with backing band the Wailers in 1963. “Simmer Down” was a smash and Marley was on his way to fame and acclaim as the hits — “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “One Love”, “Buffalo Soldier” — rolled out.
Director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland ) has a ton of archival footage and a savvy range of family and industry insiders who were there as Marley grew into a phenom and vividly recall the journey. “A shy guy,” his wife, Rita, remembers (although, 11 children from seven relationships later, maybe not that shy), Marley’s idealistic life revolved around a solid core of Rastafarian philosophy. Macdonald’s involving documentary spends abundant, respectful time on his starry evolution and that’s just as it should be. With such a laidback, peaceable ethos, a frenetic rush job would have been all wrong.