-Balford Henry
KINGSTON, March 05, 2012:
“Marley”, the long awaited family-consented documentary on the life of Jamaica reggae star, Bob Marley, will be released in the United States on Friday, April 20.
The family has agreed to a red carpet premiere of the docu-film at Kingston’s Emancipation Park on Thursday, April 19, which will be free to the public, as their contribution to Ja50, the country’s celebration of fifty years of independence from Britain.
The Marleys and co-executive producer, Chris Blackwell, are expecting a record turn-out for the event, as the film marks the first time the family has authorised the use of images and film footage from their personal archives.
The cast includes Bob, his son, Ziggy, daughter, Cedella, and widow, Rita, as well as Bunny Wailer, Lee Perry, Jimmy Cliff, Cindy Breakspeare, Chris Blackwell and Dr. Carlton “Pee Wee” Fraser, all appearing as themselves. The film is credited with documenting Marley’s life, from cradle to grave
According to director Kevin MacDonald, he had just 13 months to produce the 2½ hours of film from numerous interviews with family members, friends, lovers and musicians, historical concert footage, rare recordings, as well as 50 of Marley’s own songs and 10 from other artistes.
Macdonald, a Scottish director, is best known for “One Day in September”, the 1999 documentary about the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, which featured a lengthy interview with lone surviving terrorists, Jamal Al-Gashey.
The film debuted February 13 at Berlin’s International Film Festival, and will be next shown at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, on March 11. It will be one of three very significant documentaries to be shown at that festival. The others are: “Uprising:  Hip Hop and the L.A. Riots” and “Downloaded: The Digital Revolution”.
Rapper Snoop Dogg is both executive producer and narrator of “Uprising”, which is about the 1992 LA race riots, triggered by the beating of Rodney King, which resulted in 53 deaths and 12,000 arrests. “Downloaded” is the story of the advent of digital media, and the pioneering work of Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker.
It is understood that the incredibly talented director, Martin Scorsese, was originally working on “Marley”, for the Weinstein Company in 2008, but left after citing conflicts with his schedule. He was replaced by another fantastic director, Jonathan Demme, but the project came to a standstill in August 2009, with Demme’s departure over creative differences with producer Steve Bing. Kevin Macdonald was then brought in by Bing.
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