This Thursday, June 14, Fiji will be the first nation in the Southern Hemisphere to screen the new documentary movie about the life of reggae legend Bob Marley titled MARLEY at Village 6 Cinemas in Suva.
This special screening at $20 per head is organised by Reggae Music Fans Fiji & Pacific, a Facebook Group which was formed by Amoz Radrodro, 29, a former Radio Personality for Bula 100FM (now Radio Fiji Gold and ZFM (now Mix FM).
Radrodro is famous for producing the 2004 Nescafe Join the Band, Fijis first Reality TV show which aired on Fiji One and 21 other pacific island countries and introduced artists like Talei Burns, Nina Doton, Laisiasa Utovou, Kiti Niumataiwalu and Fiji-born LA songstress Jasmine.
This is a special screening of the movie and it is a fantastic movie about the life..the legacy of Bob Marley, Radrodro says.
We are just Facebook reggae fans. We post music videos, talk about anything that is related to reggae music.
A few members of our group are funding this event. They hope to raise enough funds to form a real life social group, beyond Facebook, he says.
We started the group about a month ago and we now have close to 3000 members from all over the world.
People love reggae music in this country. Were the Pacific, like the Caribbean. Weve seen how people go crazy with reggae, its a huge reggae country, so I thought, well... theres so many groups on Facebook from Fiji who talk about the same things, like rugby for instance. But weve come up with a group that can share something in common, the love of music and the love of reggae.
And alot of people have actually talked about how they love our reggae group because theres a lot of artists that theyve never heard about, which other people know about, so they post it, they share it on Facebook. It just broadens peoples idea of reggae music, its just so wide, he says.
We get the movie first here in Fiji. Bob Marley fans will be crazy about this, Radrodro adds.
Hiphollywood.com commented that the film focuses less on Marleys love for smoking ganja and more on the man behind the music including never before seen footage of Marleys early years growing up in Trenchtown, JA and his final days being treated for skin cancer in Germany.
The documentary was directed by Oscar winner Kevin MacDonald (Last King of Scotland) and executive produced by Marleys eldest son Ziggy.
bobmarley.com, Marleys Legacy website says Bob Marleys universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled; it went on to describe MARLEY as the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom.
Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.
Diary entries taken from Ziggy Marleys notes reads:
2012 February : Blessed family the MARLEY documentary film which we have been working on for a few years now has been premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Keep your ears and eyes open soon you will be able to see it.
2011 June: Saw a rough version of new Bob Marley documentary, Marley, with director, Kevin MacDonald. It is a very emotional. This is the most personal Bob film any one will ever see. You will cry and smile.
I think he really lived the life that he preached and was truly driven to communicate his message to as many people as possible. That was the thing. That was why he was so ambitious and why he wanted his music to be heard. He felt he had this message that he wanted to get across, whether you believe in the message or not. Thats kind of an interesting motivation because its not the motivation of most certainly today or any time of most musicians, most rock stars or whatever, says director McDonald on hitfix.com.
The first interviews I did on this were with Ziggy and Rita and Cedella, and I was amazed by how frank and open they all were, and that sort of set the tone for the whole thing. They were, I think, relatively brave in doing that, and Cedella in particular, you feel this rawness of emotion that she still had, this resentment towards her father in a way, a sort of unhappiness, and she wasnt sort of covering that up, he reveals.
Rohan Marley, one of the singer-songwriters 11 children and billed as a protagonist in Macdonalds documentary, told a news conference ahead of the movies official screening that no actor can play Bob Marley.
My father was not just a man, but a spirit dancer. You have to come with that vibration and it is not something you can act. In Jamaica, when you are a light skin, you are the outcast. To play my father, his struggles and how he overcame it all, would require you to bring tears to my eyes. It has to be one of his sons. And were not, none of us, in Hollywood, he said.
digital spy reviews that rather than pick one phase of Bobs life, the movie MARLEY tries to do it all.
From his birth to white father Captain Norval and black mother Cedella Booker, to his early days as a put-upon mixed-race farmboy, his time on the streets in Kingstons Trenchtown, the early days of the Wailers, worldwide success, 1978s politically-charged One Love concert, Bobs cancer diagnosis and drawn-out demise in snowy Germany of all places.
Bob Marleys tragic death made him an icon, before the passing of time left his cultural legacy as little more than stoner wallpaper. Marley not only reclaims Bob as the musical and social hero that he was, but paints a real picture of the man behind the dreads - brilliant and brave, but also complicated and essentially conflicted. Up there with No Direction Home and The Filth and the Fury, Marley is one of the greatest ever historical music documentaries.
I just felt like there werent any good films about him and a lot of misinformation, Macdonald told Reuters recently.
I wanted to make a very simple film. Its the most conventional film I think I ever made, very straight forward, just trying to be a detective and uncover the truth about his life and the truth about his character.
After the agony of the false starts, and the trials and tribulations of the earlier directors on this project, Macdonald provides us with the ecstasy of Marley. Through the extraordinary music, the colour, story-telling and imagery you will emerge from the cinema transformed, comments the huffingtonpost.
afp reviews that the film also traces the impact of Jamaicas rampant political violence, in which Marley was once shot during a live performance, the singers Rastafarian beliefs and attachment to Africa - he sang at Robert Mugabes inauguration in Zimbabwe in 1980 - and his attempts to battle cancer before his death.
Macdonalds MARLEY which contains 50 songs from the late reggae legend and 10 from other artists, aims to be the definitive documentary about Marley, who died of brain cancer in 1981 at age 36.
* Special MARLEY screening:
At Village 6 Cinemas, June 14, 2012. Tickets are selling for $20 in front of Village 6 and in front of RB Centrepoint. Patrons will see the movie and then head to Liquids for the after-party.