Video: A New Film on Bob Marley Offers Rare Insight into a Legend’s Life

A new documentary on Bob Marley takes an intimate look into a short but productive life of the first reggae superstar. (Magnolia Pictures)

Tadias Magazine
Art Talk

Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Few have popularized Ethiopia and the banner of green, yellow and red on the global stage as much as Bob Marley, and we are always happy to see the legend being celebrated. A new film entitled Marley, directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald, is the first documentary approved by the music star’s family. According to Marley, the following day after his historic concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City in September 1980, Bob Marley was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. He died eight months later at the age of 36. Marley’s funeral service was held on May 21st, 1981 at Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Kingston, Jamaica and at The National Arena. It was officiated by the late Abuna Yesehaq Mandefro, the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the Western Hemisphere at the time.

“Three years earlier Marley had chosen to ignore the danger signs when a malignant melanoma was discovered in one of his toes,” writes NYT movie critic Stephen Holden. “He refused to have it treated — it probably would have meant an amputation — because he would no longer be able to dance onstage.” Holden added: “That stubbornness says a lot about Marley, whose obsessive drive seems only to have accelerated the more famous he became. He was so immersed in writing that he was said to sleep only four hours a night. Even when gravely ill he displayed a superhuman energy and willpower. Two of his children — David, aka Ziggy, now 43, and Cedella, now 44 — remember him as a disciplinarian who was hyper-competitive when they played games. All together he had 11 children from 7 relationships.”

The fascinating two-and-a-half-hour biographical documentary gives us insight into Marley’s entire life, featuring rare interviews with his family, friends, and others, including Bunny Wailer and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Marley’s timeless songs are still used as anthems for global social movements. “His music has only grown in importance since his death,” noted The New York Times review. “His music and image proliferated at Arab Spring demonstrations.”

“You have only to listen to him or see a filmed performance to understand the potency of a voice synonymous with fervent hope.”

Read more at The New York Times.

Watch: Bob Marley | M A R L E Y trailer | Extended version

8 Responses to “Video: A New Film on Bob Marley Offers Rare Insight into a Legend’s Life”


  1. 1 Dawit Apr 21st, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I watched it on Friday. The most amazing documentary ever made on Bob Marley. Believe me I have watched all of them! Two thumbs up!

  2. 2 Goldie Apr 22nd, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Bob Marley is one of the most important musicians in the history of music! Bob Marley’s songs have been and are, and continue to be a sounds track for many generations to come. I am pleased to see this big screen tribute!

  3. 3 Adel Apr 22nd, 2012 at 11:51 am

    It is a great movie, but given that it was a 2 and half hour video, it only focused mostly on the positive side of bob Marley! Having said that, still it is an incredible film-making and memorable!! I learned a lot of things that I did not know about bob and humanity of a gifted soul!!

  4. 4 Munit Apr 22nd, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    It’s a must see!! Great film..just watched it!

  5. 5 Debre Tabor Apr 23rd, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Can’t wait to see this movie.

  6. 6 Mamo Apr 23rd, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    very Well done film… I enjoyed every minute of the movie. At the end I was left wanting more. It’s not mentioned in the film but did you know that Bob’s Ethiopian baptism name was “Berhane Selassie?”

  7. 7 gwaan Apr 23rd, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    All Rise to the Great Berhane Selassie. Ethiopia is proud to have a son from so far away tell the people the truths & rights.

    Egziabeher yestilign!

  1. 1 Movie Review – Marley – Blogcritics.org (blog) | Blog Pingback on Apr 22nd, 2012 at 12:18 am
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