Magnolia Pictures will release Academy Award-winner Kevin Macdonald’s Bob Marley documentary Marley, THIS Friday, April 20th, launching day and date on all VOD and digital platforms.
Described as the definitive documentary about legendary musician, from his earliest days, to his rise to international superstardom, the film made its world premiere at the Berlinale, as one of five films selected for the Berlinale Special, and next screened at the SXSW Film Festival last month, its North American premiere.
Marley is executive produced by Bob Marley’s son Ziggy Marley and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.
Made with the unprecedented support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, archival photos, and incredible performances and interviews with his family, friends, and bandmates, and as the Marley family described it, the ultimate revelation of their father’s life – an emotional journey that they are proud to be able to have the world finally experience.
In anticipation of the film’s release this weekend, SA recently got an opportunity to speak with one member of the Marley family - Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob and Rita Marley – about the film specifically, as well as her father’s legacy, and her own life currently; below is a summary of that 20-minute conversation:
On whether she’s seen the film and her reactions to it:
I’ve seen parts of it; I haven’t been able to sit and watch the entire thing; it’s an emotional journey that I’m not ready to experience yet; I think the documentary has done exactly what the family wanted it to do – to show dad in a different way, the human being that is Robert Marley; and I think Kevin did a good job with it.
On whether she learned anything about her father she didn’t already know in watching or during the making of the film; or anything about herself:
Yes, information that we the children were not privy to at a young age, we were able to finally know. For example, the argument for him amputating his leg; we didn’t know he had suffered not one, but 2 strokes; we didn’t know they’d taken out his tonsils as part of the treatment for his cancer; a lot of things were happening to him during his battle with cancer. It was good for us to know, but it was very emotional; we didn’t know it would take Kevin Macdonald and the documentary to bring us that information (laughter); Not even my mom knew all those things; things that, were it not for this documrntary, we wouldn’t know about.
On the film’s *humanizing* of Bob Marley:
He was a human being; he was a man; his life was an open book; there were no secrets; I think that’s what made him a great man; We tend to try to live up to certain public expectations of us; but what we see here is real life.
On what she’d like the audience to take away from watching the film:
They have to walk away just feeling something; I don’t think you can walk away without feeling joy, sorrow, or maybe you understand something a bit more, or you find something that you’re able to relate to, and hopefully grow from it.
On whether she’d like to also see a scripted narrative film made about Bob Marley:
He [Bob Marley] would have to actually write the script (laughs); I don’t see anyone else who can totally understand his life; I really don’t know, apart from my mom and his mother, who really knew him that well; this is a man who would surround himself with 100s of people, and he’d always be gracious; but then he’d come home to us and tell us not to trust anybody.
For example, the assassination attempt; if we’re to believe the story, which I do believe, one of those 2 guys who were always with him every day, were responsible for it.
On pressure to live up to public expectations of the Marley name:
Well, the way we were raised, it’s a given; our parents were no joke; there’s a certain way we carry ourselves that’s not forced, and that is born in us; but as far as public pressures, no, I don’t live up to anyone else’s expectations.
On how close the family is currently:
Very close; we all live within a few blocks from each other in Miami, except for Ziggy and Sharon who live in California. My mother lives right next door to me in Miami. I talk to her every day, 3 or 4 times a day. We all love her, and we’re blessed we have her after daddy passed. It was good to have a strong woman to guide us; I don’t believe the popular thing that it takes a man to raise a boy; My mother did a good job raising my brothers.
My mother is still deeply in love with daddy, her husband, and I don’t think that will ever change. Even in my life, if I’m having problems in my marriage, I go talk to her for advice… I don’t always agree with her, but I understand her.
It’s been 30 years, and I would never imagine my life without them, my brothers sisters. And my mother; she loves all of us.
On her own personal projects/aspirations:
After the Olympics, I think I’ll probably get back into the studio with my talented brothers, who keep pushing me, saying things like, the other day, that I should be ashamed of myself because I have the best voice and I’m not using it (laughs).
I have another children’s book out in the fall (a take of 3 little birds); but right now my focus is on Marley, this documentary.
And finally, anything you wished you could have asked or said to her father, Bob Marley:
(After short silence) Many things; many things; I don’t think I told him I loved him enough; so that would be one thing.
Marley will open in a limite number of theaters, and will also be available on demand and on Facebook this Friday, April 20; it’ll then expand to other cities over the succeeding 3 to 4 months.
For the full theater/date list, click HERE.
Trailer follows below: