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Marley (Blu-ray Review)

5 Aug, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

Street 8/7/12
Box Office $1.4 million
$26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for drug content, thematic elements and some violent images.

Bob Marley sold millions of records worldwide and has influenced people, not only with his music but also with his spiritual sensibilities and revolutionary spirit.

The documentary Marley looks at the musical and cultural icon through the accounts of his family, close friends and the people who worked with the Jamaican singer-songwriter during his career.

Born in the countryside of Saint Ann, then moving to the rough streets of Trench Town as a boy, the biracial Bob was stuck in a sort of no man’s land, rejected by both blacks and whites, according to fellow bandmate Bunny Wailer. Growing up impoverished, where everyone was forced to be creative, Bob saw a way out with his guitar.

With bandmates Bunny and Peter Tosh, as well as producers such as the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry, Marley found his musical genius. And through the Rastafari way of life, he found himself, his voice and his spirituality.

Bob not only earned worldwide respect for his music, but he also meant a great deal to the people of Jamaica, where his home on Hope Road became a central place for people to see him and to discuss everything from history and politics to religion and Rastafari ideals.

Though he survived an assassination attempt, Bob eventually succumbed to untreated melanoma at the premature age of 36.

Having been produced by his son Ziggy, the film offers the kind of intimate and accurate details only close family and friends could offer. Through interviews with dozens of people in Bob’s life, Marley goes through Bob’s youth, his personal life as a husband and father, his early career and his death.

You can’t have a story about Bob Marley without a bit of a history lesson on reggae. Nor can you avoid addressing Bob as husband and father. He had an incredible bond with his wife, Rita, despite having 11 children with seven different women, his most well-known girlfriend being Cindy Breakspeare. (Bob believed marriage was a Western idea.) His children Ziggy and Cedella don’t mince words about the kind of father he was or wasn’t, sharing some less-than-pleasant memories.

With these stories about Bob comes a prescience to his lyrics and deeper understanding of his messages of love and unity in music that has become so well-known around the world. 

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