I’m a huge Bob Marley fan. Along with The Doors, Bob Marley and the Wailers are, have been, and will be among my favorite bands of all time.
Before watching, I thought I already knew enough about Bob Marley that this documentary couldn’t tell me. Boy, was I wrong.
First, I had no idea that his father was white. I know this shouldn’t mean anything but for me, it means everything. It’s part of his identity and I could somehow relate to the how he was treated because of his race growing up.
My father is Nigerian and my mother is from Missouri. Her ancestors are a mixture of black, white, and Native American but when I look in the mirror, I see black. My father used to tell me that some Nigerians from his area looked down on what they called “half breeds.” This didn’t make sense to me. For one, I considered myself black. However, because my mother wasn’t Nigerian, I was a half breed.
Now, I don’t know if that attitude is the same today. I personally think that’s changed. But it was something that always stuck with me.
So when the documentary talked about his white side (they even created his melanoma to his “white side” which I found really odd,) I immediately remembered the things my father told me.
Besides his history, the documentary also covered his wife and his children, and his multiple girlfriends- some who also had children. I did find it a little disturbing that his wife dealt with his girlfriends and their children by accepting them. I don’t know if I could ever do that. However, she said that their goal was getting the music out into the world and I felt like if she did confront his cheating, it would’ve jeopardized the band and the music.
They did explain the Rastafarian movement, why he grew dreadlocks, and smoked marijuana. I knew that the word “Jah” was mentioned in some of his songs (Could you be Loved for example) but again, I didn’t really understand the purpose. After watching this documentary, I finally understood.
I found myself singing along to some of the songs played in the documentary (one of my favorite “High Tide Low Tide” wasn’t played but I found myself humming the tune anyway)
The ending was really touching. It showed people from all walks of life; from India to Japan to Jamaica to America singing Bob Marley songs, wearing clothing with Marley’s image, and Bob Marley graffiti.
This was one of the best documentaries I’ve seen by far on Bob Marley. It left me thinking about his music, his message, and the life that some live. I highly recommend it for Bob Marley fans around the world and for anyone who wants to understand the man that is Bob Marley.