Thursday, 26 April 2012

Film Review: Marley

Born in the 80’s to Rastafarian parents, it’s needless to exert how much relevance Bob Marley held within my household growing up. Whilst most parents declared Bob Marley as regimented listening on a Sunday afternoon, within mine it was all around the calendar and clock. The Sunday rule was only passed later in childhood within my household, as myself and brother started to explore dance, soul, hip-hop and other genres dubbed ‘Boof Boof Music’ by my mother. Slyly suggesting it was blasphemous to be played on a Sunday because it sent the wrong messages, as opposed to the peace, love and unity Bob Marley was an ambassador of.

Still as a child I idolised Bob Marley in the same way, if not greater than Michael Jackson. Whenever his music played within the home, it carried harmony, like that found within a sanctuary. Through my adoration, I learned about other factors of life, such as inter-racial relationships and I still remember to this present day the upset I felt within as I learned that Bob Marley had passed years before I was even conceived, let alone born. In a way, it made me love him and his music even more.

Digging deeper in exploration, I discovered music from ‘The Wailers’ Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and others, leading to the first concert I ever attended to be that of his son Ziggy Marley. But admittedly, there was still so much I didn’t know at the point I became more submerged into my Boof Boof Music’ as I revelled within my adolescent years.

Marley – the docufilm – gives an insight into Robert Nestor Marley I would never had found through my own investigations. From his creation, we learn about his parents and the family life he was born into. The struggles he faced as a young man and how he found peace within Rastafarianism. The musical journey he travelled before and after the world knew his name, a journey that opened doors for many of musicians including those in the present day.

His humility when interacting with others, as well as the pain and suffering he overcame at various points of his life. Bob Marley was a man with characteristics many could benefit from if they were adopted. Yet while he is known for his masses of offspring, none of the women in his life had a bad word to say about his conduct with them or his relationships with his children.

But while I will state that this docu-film is about a decade overdue (if not longer), finding out more detail about his death and the cancer that eventually killed him, was quite an emotional yet informative experience. Knowing that a man who was present in Zimbabwe celebrating their independence, while also bringing peace to violent political warfare in his home country of Jamaica. As well as being prominent in the UK, US, Japan and anywhere else on the globe, can still be brought to an end by illness, magnifies that all of humanity is here by the grace of a higher power on borrowed time. Bob Marley died young, leaving a legacy greater than any achieved by his white family who disowned him. But his actions showed that purity of the heart can take us further than any amount of anger or bitterness. For that reason, I would recommend this film to not only those that love Bob Marley and/or his music, but to everyone!

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