(Kevin MacDonald, 2012)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: People get ready: 'Marley', Kevin MacDonald's documentary on Bob Marley and the Wailers, will satisfy your soul.
With documentary biographies of idolised stars, there's often an urge to flatter them and enlarge their ego a little more. Kevin 'The Last King of Scotland' MacDonald's documentary 'Marley' isn't exactly warts-and-all, but it's refreshingly down to earth. And truly fascinating.
The majority of the contributors are of Jamaican descent who weave engaging, lyrical often darkly hilarious stories told via friends, family and musicians who didn't just appreciate him when he died of cancer far too early, but actually helped him make it to be crowned the king of reggae in the first place.
For example, there's no mention of Eric Clapton's 1974 cover of 'I Shot the Sheriff' hitting No.1 in America before Marley was truly embraced there, spearheading an apprecitation of crossover rock/reggae from a white perspective. The film is concerned with the true originals of the field, rather than the followers. And so it should be.
Soundtrack-wise, 'Marley' favours the politically charged razorwires from Marley's catalogue rather than his sublime love songs, making for potent viewing and listening. This move gives his work a bigger sense of time and place, further affirming just how important Marley was as a political icon and spokesman for people whose voices were drowned by overbearing powers.
'Marley' shows a man who was for the people. Competitive and passionate when it came to making something better, Marley is depicted as a bullheaded, prophetic spokesman of a turbulent generation but also as a mere mortal too. Littered with important concert footage as well private home recordings, 'Marley' backs up the facts with legend.
Watch the great trailer for 'Marley' HERE at Cinemas Online.
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