A look at Marley...
BOB MARLEY was 36 when he died. That's the most sobering aspect of Kevin Macdonald's comprehensive documentary Marley The reggae superstar died young, packed a lot into his life but it was patience early in his musical career that paved the way to his great success.
Marley wrote and recorded songs from 1962 but it was the gathering that included Bunny Livingston and Peter Tosh… eventually the Wailers… that really got things going. The group wasn't in a rush, preferring to get their sound right over some years before diving into a bigger musical pond.
MacDonald brought together some wonderful interview subjects headed by the brilliantly dolled up Livingston to tell Marley's story from rural poverty to urban poverty and musical success. Marley's wife Rita is a tranquil presence, quite a feat considering her husband fathered 11 children from seven women during that short eventful life of his. Marley's Miss World girlfriend Cindy Breakspeare heads up the other women and is also an interview subject while son Ziggy and daughter Cedella are compelling interviewees.
There an interesting insight into the music business through Island Records chief Chris Blackwell. The Wailers went on a UK tour after their first recording in England but weren't paid because it was a "promotional tour". Tosh, who left the band soon after, refers to Blackwell as "Chris Whitewell".
Marley was a keen soccer player and footage suggest he was a fair table tennis player too. A toe injury from soccer was the beginning of the end for him.
The film shows Marley as a complex man with a simple message of love, caring and understanding that he carried into the highest levels of Jamaican politics and onto the streets.