Just over three decades on from his untimely demise, the global popularity of reggae icon Bob Marley remains undimmed. While the rebel songs and dreadlocked image are part of our cultural consciousness however, the man’s life story is rather less familiar, which makes Kevin Macdonald’s expansive biographical portrait all the more valuable.
The Marley estate’s own treasure trove of family photos and home movies lends an unparalleled authenticity and intimacy to this in-depth traversal of Robert Nesta Marley’s journey from dirt-poor rural Jamaica to his ascendance as the third world’s first superstar. Shaped around interviews with those who knew him every step of the way, and boasting dynamic live footage, the result certainly isn’t some safe PR-job, delving into sensitive subject areas like his mixed-race parentage and the energetic womanising of a far from ideal husband and father.
Absorbing, entertaining and informative, this will appeal to rabid fan and neophyte alike. Marley is a defining account of a truly inspirational talent. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)