Kevin MacDonald

BY Daniel PrattPublished Aug 17, 2012

Bob Marley's ideals flowed from his lyrics, invoking peace, love and harmony. His music has stood the test of time ― T-shirts are still worn by fans and 420 enthusiasts alike, with Marley's face silkscreened among his native Jamaican colours. Yet for all of the fanaticism over the music and messages, very little about Bob Marley, the man, was known. Director Kevin Macdonald's bio-documentary, Marley, attempts to change this by becoming the first film fully sanctioned by the Marley family, providing full access to the singer's archives and stepping up to provide a plethora of firsthand accounts of his life. Jam-packed with old interviews and concert footage, one would think that would suffice to paint a decent portrait of the legendary Rastafarian, but it is the intimate interviews with those that knew him best that fill in the gaps and bring life to a man that has been dead since 1981. However, for all of the information packed into the 144-minute run-time, there's a sense that something is missing. With such a broad range of interview subjects, there are contradictions on some of the accounts of Marley's life, leading one to believe that he was imperfect and more investigation on his shadowy dealings could have unveiled something more intriguing. Alas, with son Ziggy Marley listed as an executive producer, it can be assumed Macdonald had to tread lightly for this project to ensure familial cooperation. The DVD includes numerous special features, including a commentary from the director and Ziggy, interesting trivia and further background details that weren't in the original version. A segment of a live performance is also included, which will undoubtedly be a highlight for fans. The best feature is the "Children's Memories" segment, where Marley's children share personal memories of their father. It is this segment that provides a sense of endearment of the man, giving a glimpse of his true personality. It's just a shame Macdonald couldn't provide more of this in the actual film.

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