Review: Marley the Movie

Marley, no more no less! Just this one word is all this Documentary from director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotkand) needs to explain itself. Even 31 years after Bob Marley’s passing, his music still moves the young and old. We all know Bob’s music, but who was the person behind this music? Some see him only as a Weed Smoker, for others he is an example, a legend, an icon! In this documentary we get to see Bob Marley as a person, human in his good and his bad moments.

“Marley” starts like any other biographical documentary about the legend. We see the young Robert Nesta Marley grow up as the son of a white father and a black mother. We gain insight into his youth in Nine Miles, a small village in the Parish of St. Ann Jamaica, and watch him move to the slums of Trenchtown in Kingston.

The movie does not only show us how Bob Marley & The Wailers started. It also gives us a window to Bob’s love for music and football and, in a later stage, his interest in the Rastafari faith. Bob’s love for women is put on the spotlight, often through stories told by his lovers.

Many of Bob’s dearest have their say about him in short interviews: Bob’s wife Rita, his son David (Ziggy) and daughter Cedella, Chris Blackwell (founder of Island Records) Bunny (Wailer) Livingston and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

Nothing new here, I hear you think. Wrong! What makes this documentary so different from its predecessors is the fact that throughout the movie we see Bob as a person, a human being, instead of Bob the artist. How he was as a father for his kids, how he was as a husband, how he looked at racial equality and politics, and how he managed his Melanoma (skin cancer).

Next to Bob’s story, the movie shows us Jamaica’s political history and the history of reggae. We get some of Bob’s lyrics explained and, as an icing on the cake, we receive a large portion of ‘Love & Unity’. And of course the movie is covered up in a musical sauce, backed by some unseen footage.

Personally, I think this documentary shows what Bob must have seen when his life flashed by in his last hours on May 11, 1981.

I’m sure that “Marley the Movie” is a documentary that everyone has to see. For the Reggae fans its obligatory, for others it’s an entertaining, laid-back, documentary which causes some goosebumps and educates you! I’m sure this documentary will put reggae back in people’s hearts!

“I like to see mankind live together,
Black, White, Chinese… That’s all!”

Directed by: Kevin Macdonald
Cast: Bob Marley, Zigi Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Cedella Marley, Rita Marley en vele anderen.
Genre: Muziek DocumentaireDe soundtrack van de film zal binnekort ook worden gereleased.




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