“…His new film, a cinebiography of Bob Marley is a bigger, baggier and simpler thing.
It’s the story of a man who lived an extraordinarily full yet oddly mysterious life and died a world figure 30 years ago – shortly after reaching the age of 36.
It is, however, told without any reconstructions or impersonations – and neither Sidney Poitier nor Morgan Freeman was called in to deliver a rousing commentary explaining the man’s contradictions, achievements and significance.
The picture begins in West Africa at an old fortress on the Gold Coast (now Ghana).
Through its “Door of No Return” leading to the sea passed many of the millions of shackled slaves who were shipped across the Atlantic.
This was the journey made by his ancestors that shaped Marley’s life, identity and music – and the belief system that drew them together.
He was born in the remote Jamaican village of Nine Mile in 1945 – and Macdonald takes us there in a lyrical aerial shot across the steep, wooded hill country.
His mother, Cedella, was black and 16.
His father Norval Marley – a white man aged 65..”
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