“There is no hype to this documentary, it’s just reality and everybody can relate to reality,” says Ziggy Marley about the new documentary on reggae musician Bob Marley.
April 20 has long been an unofficial day of celebration for marijuana fans and for Ziggy Marley, executive producer of “Marley“, it is the perfect day to release a documentary on his iconic father.
“420 is a day that celebrates marijuana and that was a big part of Bob’s culture and his spirituality, so it made sense for us to release it then.”
Ziggy, the eldest son of Rita and Bob Marley is the executive producer of a new documentary on the Jamaican singer and songwriter who helped to pioneer reggae music.
“There have been a lot of things done on Bob, but this one will give people a more emotional connection to Bob’s life as a man – not just as a reggae legend or a mythical figure, but his life as a man,” says Ziggy.
Directed by Kevin Macdonald, “Marley” delivers a depth of information and insights that would have been impossible without the cooperation of the Marley family. In the film, Bob’s wife Rita and his children that include Ziggy and sister Cedella, friends and musical colleagues all share insightful memories of the legend who died in 1981.
“I always saw him as a very stern man,” Ziggy shares, “but I do see that he had a human weakness and had vulnerabilities as a human being and it was very emotional to see.”
For Ziggy, a revelatory moment in the film comes from the nurse who looked after his father in the final days leading up to his death. “Some of that I hadn’t heard or seen before, and that was very emotional and insightful,” he adds.
There are speakers who have previously gone unheard such as Bob’s close white cousin Peter, who director Kevin Macdonald says ‘nobody had thought to speak with before,’ Bob’s half-sister, Constance and Dudley Sibley, the recording artist and studio janitor in Studio One who lived with Bob.
In the documentary, Neville “Bunny” Livingston from The Wailers, the breakthrough group that Bob formed with him and Peter Tosh, takes the audience through to 1973, when the band split. After that period, the chief narrative duties are taken over by Neville Garrick, the Wailers’ artistic director, who was with Bob through the remainder of his life.
“This one will give people a more emotional connection to Bob’s life as a man,” states Ziggy. “Not just as a reggae legend or a mythical figure, but his life as a man, you know? The struggles he went through.”
Photo of Ziggy Marley pictured above courtesy of Magnolia Pictures