Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Oct 09, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue
Bob Marley will likely always be a polarizing icon, and releasing this film theatrically on 4/20 was an odious marketing ploy that certainly didn’t mitigate that unfortunate fact. But cutting through the fatuous associations, this is a terrific documentary on the life and enduring legacy of a deeply complex and mysterious figure.
The film, directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), metes out interview footage with Marley sparingly, as little exists, but it nonetheless paints a nuanced portrait rife with pathos, joy, and frustration. The cooperation from Ziggy Marley was obviously indispensable, and interviews with ex-girlfriends and his widow Rita Marley provide incandescent illumination. Yet the greatest triumph of this terrific film is the manner in which the music melds unobtrusively with the poignant narrative, like a double rainbow aligning perfectly over the horizon.
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 8/10