Marley: The Definitive Story documentary, from Magnolia Home Entertainment, offers an authentic story behind the man as told by Mr. Marley himself.
In the 30 years since his death, many have attempted to depict the life story of Bob Nesta Marley, the singer/songwriter/musician credited as being the “Father of Reggae.”
With son Ziggy Marley serving as executive producer of the film, along with Chris Blackwell, this is the first documentary involving raw, emotional testimonies from family members and others close to Marley.
“It was the right time for us to really back something up, something that was true to us and true to our father and that represents him in our eyes,” explained Bob Marley’s daughter Karen who stars alongside her mother Rita and sister Cedella in the film.
Marley: The Definitive Story treats viewers to interviews from the late revolutionary as well as unreleased music and never-before-seen footage following his life from his teenage years to his last day, and lots of interesting stops along the way. Karen told S2S both Ziggy and the film’s director, Academy Award winning Kevin Macdonald (State of Play, Last King of Scotland) had to endure extensive research to acquire some of the video footage. “You get to hear from people that really knew him from when he was a child to Bob, the man that he became. This is the real him,” insisted Karen. “You get to see how his mind works, how he functions.”
Being one of the youngest of Bob Marley’s children, Karen said her mother Rita wanted to protect her by not informing her of the political strife and racial barricades her father faced. Only 8 years old when her father lost his battle with cancer, Karen she learned a few things from the documentary. “I am taken aback, like whoa!” she said. “I didn’t know about the tear gas in Zimbabwe. I didn’t know that he was the only man left standing on stage while everybody else had to run because there was tear gas and it was burning everyone. He was just in his zone and didn’t even realize; he just stayed there on stage,” she said.
Although it was tough, for Karen’s mother Rita who watched and heard her late husband throughout the documentary and was also faced with his infidelity, she is glad the documentary was done.
“I was the one he would call to get the women out of his dressing room,” referring to the times she toured with her husband. Despite some unpleasant memories, Rita understood that the story of the man behind the music needed to be told.
Watch a preview of the documentary, airing on VH1 on Saturday at 9 p.m. EST and available for purchase on Blu-ray and DVD on August 7.