The new Bob Marley movie has been in theaters and available online for less than a week, but the Internet buzz is already accumulating for the definitive documentary. From hip-hop heroes and pop divas to the Marley family and director Kevin MacDonald, everyone is talking about this new portrait of the reggae superstar’s life.
Hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg attended the West Coast premiere of the new Bob Marley documentary. When speaking to the press, Snoop weaved a tale of how Bob Marley lifted his conscience to another, more peaceful, level. “Just to be able to have peace and love and harmony in the music that I make, that’s what I feel like I’ve gained from listening to Bob Marley’s music and being influenced by him,” Snoop said.
The love didn’t stop there though, as pop songstress and Marley aficionado Rihanna hit Twitter hard over the weekend with lots of love for Tuff Gong and the new documentary on his life. “I and I love Bob so much iz a shame.” Whether covering Marley songs at shows, her ever-present tri-color shirt or her dedication to charity work in her native Barbados, Rihanna exemplifies the #LiveMarley lifestyle.
Director Kevin MacDonald also has a deep appreciation for the legendary reggae icon, making his work on the Bob Marley documentary project a labor of love. While making his film The Last King of Scotland in Africa, MacDonald noticed, “There were so many people listening to Bob, wearing Bob t-shirts, with murals of Bob up.” MacDonald recalls, “They treated him more like a kind of spiritual figure or a philosopher than merely a musician. And I realized that’s kind of a unique position. Nobody else in popular music has had that position… and that is what really set me off on wanting to make a film about him.” A project years in the making, his vision (and the vision of the whole Marley family) has finally come true.
The Marley family was also out in full force at many of the film’s debut screenings. They gave MacDonald’s completed project unanimously high marks. Ziggy Marley, Bob’s eldest son, was on board with the movie from the ground up. “When the idea came up, I told the family about it. We have this opportunity to do something definitive on Bob. And everyone was cool about that,” Ziggy remembers.
Bob’s daughter Cedella agreed with her brother about Marley being the end-all be-all document of their father’s life. “It’s something that we have been trying to accomplish for about two or three years. We went from different director to director, but we met Kevin MacDonald and he brought everything that we were hoping for to life.”