Archive of films Marley / Marley

USA / United Kingdom
2012, 144 min

Section: Documentary Films - Out of Competition
Year: 2012

Bob Marley is an icon of 20th century popular music and a titan of reggae. He was also, of course, someone with a rich personal life, evidently indulging as much in women as in his desire to improve the political situation of Jamaica and beyond. During production, director Kevin Macdonald had exclusive archive rights.


Few musicians have had the global influence of Bob Marley. This comprehensive biographical movie follows the singer from the dirty streets of his native Kingston to worldwide fame (which he handled with varying degrees of success) to his unexpected death after leaving a Swiss clinic. The film benefits from access to previously unseen archive material, and features interviews with Marley’s fellow band members and other artists, as well as with his family (including some of his children) who speak frankly about the artist. From his interest in the Rastafarian movement, the film moves on to his predilection for marijuana and women (his 12 kids are proof of that). The documentary is attractive for both its sensitive integration of his ever-popular music, which Marley quite literally spread around the globe, and for its comprehensive portrayal of his persona. Although never ostentatious, the movie presents an enchanting portrait of an exceptionally creative musician who sang more than just "No Woman, No Cry,” placing his strength of will above any entrenched perceptions of his iconic personality.

About the director

Kevin Macdonald

Kevin Macdonald (b. 1967, Glasgow) is one of Britain’s most multitalented directors. In 2000 he won an Academy Award for Best Documentary for One Day in September, about the Munich Olympic tragedy. His second documentary, Touching the Void, also received various awards and was commercially highly successful. The director’s feature debut, The Last King of Scotland, was also warmly received, and garnered a Best Actor Oscar for the excellent Forest Whitaker. He cast Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, and Helen Mirren in his next film, State of Play. In 2010 Macdonald personally presented Karlovy Vary’s retrospective on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (Macdonald’s grandfather). The KVIFF subsequently presented Macdonald’s picture Life in a Day (2011), a film compilation featuring footage shot by people from around the world.


Fortissimo Films
Van Diemenstraat 100, 1013 CN, Amsterdam
Tel: +31 206 273 215
Fax: +31 206 261 155
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Out of Competition
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Screenplay: Kevin Macdonald
Dir. of Photography: Alwin Küchler, Mike Eley
Editor: Dan Glendenning
Producer: Steve Bing, Charles Steel
Production: Cowboy Films
Cast: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley
Contact: Fortissimo Films


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