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Marley

Directed by Kevin Macdonald

USA, 2012

Cornerhouse, 20 April 2012

Marley

This documentary delivers a fully-rounded portrait of the man who brought reggae to the world.

Like Malcolm X and Barack Obama, Bob Marley was of mixed race and had difficulty fitting in as a child.  He didn’t belong, grew up hungry-poor, encountered many rejections.  Yet he came, through his exhilarating eternal music, to preach a message of brotherly harmony: black and white, unite.

There’s a lot of substance to this film and Marley’s human weaknesses are not glossed over.  The best bit for me being an interview with a pink-bearded Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.  The man is one of a kind, a genius.  His movements here still sprightly, fluid and dynamic, despite his age.  And his face alight with impishness or intelligence or an incandescent holy delight.  Take your pick.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive yet critical overview of Bob Marley’s life and achievements, Kevin Macdonald’s film is it.

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