The Roots of Reggae
Release Date: April 20, 2012
Starring: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Rita
Marley, Jimmy Cliff
Runtime: 144 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Executive Producer: Steve Bing, Chris Blackwell,
Ziggy Marley, Suzette Newman
Producer: Charles Steel
Address Comments To:Bill Banowski, CEO, Magnolia Pictures (Magnet Releasing)
1614 West 5th St.
Austin, TX 78703
Eamon Bowles, President, Magnolia Pictures (Magnet Releasing)
43 West 27th St., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 924-6701; Fax: (212) 924-6742
Website: www.magpictures.com; Email: info@ magpictures.com
Bob Marley was born in 1945 in Jamaica, the son of a white businessman and a very poor black woman. Treated by both blacks and whites as a “half-breed,” he grew up in an appalling tin hut until his mother left him to go to America.
Ironically, white members of the Marley family admit in the movie that this “half-breed” rejected by his father wound up becoming the only Marley known worldwide. The day he went to visit his father, and was rejected, he wrote a song called “Cornerstone” about the rock that was rejected becoming the cornerstone. Marley was very familiar with the Bible and considered it crucial in his Rastafarian beliefs. However, he also believed the book of Revelation called for regular smoking of marijuana and that then Ethiopian Emperor Haile Salassie was the second coming of Jesus Christ, king of kings and lord of lords.
As a child Marley and his friends saw music as a path to escape the grinding poverty, and even hunger, living in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica. In the process of developing their talent, they took up the new Reggae music and gradually became very popular in Jamaica.
Marley married and had children but as his fame grew he wound up having 11 children with seven different women. His wife, managing his dressing room, has to remove the girls when he was finished with them. One of his female entourage was Miss World of 1976 Cindy Breakspeare. Their son Damian Marley is a Grammy-winning reggae musician himself.
Marley’s music has many Biblical references but with decidedly false religious twists. Marley was a prominent performer in the celebration turning Rhodesia into Zimbabwe and ushering in Dictator Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror and the total demise of one of Africa’s healthiest economies.
Another irony is that Marley’s first American concerts were attended almost exclusively by reggae loving white people. Not until he was willing to lower himself to be a lead-in singer and a concert for a less famous black singer did he start to draw black audiences in the U.S.
The documentary neither bashes nor glosses over Marley. It features interviews with close friends and “family” (including some what they called “baby mommas”). It also includes revealing and often bizarre comments from old interviews of Marley himself. Marley died at the young age of 36 from cancer. The movie contains only one modest obscenity and one “oh my God.” There are some newsreel scenes of violence in Jamaica.
MARLEY contains strong false religion but doesn’t make it look desirable. As such, it offers a lesson in the dangers of trying to believe both the Bible and wildly false teachings.
MARLEY the documentary neither bashes nor glosses over Marley. It features revealing interviews with close friends and family. The movie contains one modest obscenity, one “oh my God,” and news footage violence. It discusses Marley promiscuous lifestyle. Movieguide® advises extreme caution regarding the false religious material.