Well, one of the best ways we will ever find out is by seeing the film directed by Kevin MacDonald called “Marley”, as it got its stamp of approval from the Marley family.
The documentary featured those who knew and
worked with Bob Marley, such as his beloved wife Rita Marley, Cindy Breakespeare, Chris Blackwell, Lee “Scratch” Peary, Bunny Wailer, Neville Garrick, Edward Seaga, Cedella Marley and his son David “Ziggy” Marley, who is also one of the film’s producers.
The premiere of the film “Marley” was held on Thursday April 20, 2012 at the Emancipation Park in Kingston. People of all cultures came out to watch the documentary about the reggae icon.
The event was hosted by Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper, co-founder of Third World. Many dignitaries were in full representation. Member of Parliament, minister of culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna representing the prime minister spoke about the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley OM and his contribution to reggae music and referred to him as “one of the greatest humans to ever walk the earth”, and many would agree.
The public park was lit with big screens and the voices of those who were in attendance to profess their immense love for Bob Marley, everyone was buzzing about the film as they awaited a milestone in reggae music.
The honourable Robert Nesta Marley OM is honoured by Jamaicans for being the man who brought reggae music to the world and gave Jamaica international status. Bob Marley placed Jamaica on the map culturally, socially and artistically.
Bob Marley was born in Nine Miles, St. Ann Jamaica to Cedella Booker, a black woman and Captain Narvel Marley, a white man. This information was surprising to many, as most people did not know that Bob was mixed race. However, in the documentary Bob Marley proclaimed and showed the way he felt about racial division “Mi nuh come from black side or white side, mi come from God side”.
In the final days of Bob’s life he requested all eleven of his children to visit him at a hospital in Miami where he was admitted due to a severe decline in his health due to cancer.
One of the most touching moments of the film was when Marley’s daughter Cedella spoke of the first time she went to visit her father. The first time she saw him without his locks, looking so tiny.
The documentary dealt with his life in Jamaica, his personal relationships, his musical journey and his love for the people and the final days of his life. Bob Marley is said to have released his first song “Judge Not” at the age of sixteen.
Bob always emphasizes that his life is not his but is a servitude to the people and so, did not fear threats that were made against him. Bob Marley did not just live for himself, he lived for the people.
Although there were many stories to be told, Kevin Macdonald had to compress as much as possible within the almost 2 ½ hour long documentary. However, he is pleased with the film and describes Bob Marley as “Our Man”, as he brought reggae music to the four corners of the world. Parades of dignitaries and entertainers were in full force to critique his work.
The film took us from the Legend’s birthplace; the hills of St. Ann to Trench Town, Kingston and to the world when Jah finally took him home. The film definitely took us back in time and definitely received my 5 stars.
The film premiered as part of Jamaica’s 50th Independence Celebration. Jamaica continues to celebrate the people who contributed to the country’s development, identity and warm-heartedness and those who depict the true meaning of Jamaica, because “out of many one people.”