The cinema featured a display of Rasta-inspired shirts and skirts, while red, yellow and green flags led to the theater set to play Marley the Movie only minutes from our seating. The theater was just starting to fill up as we took our seats and the previews began, anticipation building in our chests, awaiting the movie that was long over-due. Opening on an appropriate April 20th, Marley the Movie was a great tribute to the peaceful reggae legend. This two-and-a-half-hour documentary featured stories from Robert Nesta Marley’s beginnings in Nine Mile and Trench Town, Jamaica, his beginnings with The Wailers and his personal life told by his mother, grandmother, wife, children, close friends and bandmates – even girlfriends. With never-before-seen footage and a track Marley recorded at the age of 16, this film introduced fans to a deeper side of Bob Marley and his passion for peace. In the film, an interviewer asks him about whether he was worried about getting shot again after surviving the last attack. His reply was this: “If my life is only for me, my own security, den mi nuh want it. My life is fi people.”
Everyone knows who Bob Marley is and what he stands for, while only a few are of aware of the depth of his devotion to peace, happiness and unity. Even as an avid fan, I felt drawn closer to the real Bob Marley and the Rastafarian culture that he held so close, which is was what enabled him to live such a happy life. Despite the rejection he felt for being born of a white father and a black mother or for the denial from his father’s family that he would have been his son and amongst the political battles surrounding Jamaica, he continued to spread the message of love for other people no matter what. “I don’t have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don’t deh pon nobody’s side. Me don’t deh pon the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me deh pon God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.”
This film, besides being informative of Bob Marley and educational of the Rastafarian culture left the audience uplifted and at peace, like many of his concerts. Even after 31 years, his ideals are still being spread and his music will continue to do just that. This is definitely a must-see. Five stars hands-down.