Tuesday, 24 April 2012


I really should have posted about this sooner, but better late than never right? Last Wednesday I went to a preview screening of Marley, the new documentary chronicling the career of one of the most influential musicians of all time, Bob Marley. The screening was held at the W Hotel London for friends of Island Records, the film itself having been produced by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell who signed Marley to the label in 1972. Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland/Touching the Void) the film features interviews with everyone from legendary music producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry to Marley's wife and back-up singer Rita and of course The Wailers. There is also plenty of amazing live footage, including his performance at the Smile Jamaica concert shortly after he was shot. Macdonald offers us a very intimate portrait of the star, choosing not to gloss over issues such as the use of marijuana and Marley's infidelity to his wife, as well the stubbornness which lead him to skip medical appointments following a serious foot injury and delayed the revelation of his cancer which was discovered too late, costing him his life at the age of 36. The final segment of the film, which clocks in at a weighty 146minutes in total, focuses on the last year of Marley's life as he attempts to battle his cancer through holistic medicine, and it's certainly emotional and difficult to watch. Whether or not you're particularly familiar with Bob Marley's history and career you will no doubt be moved by the power of this documentary and the positive socio-political messages that Marley spread across the world through his music. The accompanying soundtrack is also worth picking up, featuring some very strong live performances, rare tracks and remixes.

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