ICE Theaters Chatham
210 W 87th St
Marley, USA/UK 2012, 145 min. Director: Kevin McDonald
For nearly half a century, Bob Marley – the musician, the revolutionary, the legend – has influenced various populations at a global level that remains unparalleled. Marley’s passing in May 1981 not only left a huge void in what is perhaps modern music’s most spiritual and yet accessible genre, reggae, but also, as a testament to the star’s power, set the stage for the unprecedented, posthumous growth of his fan base.
The enduring nature of Bob Marley’s fame is anything but a simple pop music phenomenon. Just one index of it is the success of the Marley compilation album “Legend,” which is one of only 17 albums to pass the 10-million mark in sales (in 2009), continues to sell at the rate of about 250,000 albums per year, and is the second-longest charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s record-keeping. With an ever-growing fan base (as evidenced by his 33+ million roster of fans on Facebook and Twitter), his fame has elevated his stature to one of a spiritual beacon.
More than 30 years later, the undying messages that go beyond his music make Marley a cultural force to be reckoned with. His way of living was in many ways a political act on the world stage, across the world’s continents. Today, wherever politically minded youth seeks ways to find solidarity (as was exemplified over recent months by the popularity of Bob Marley’s music and imagery amidst scenes of protest in the Middle East and Africa and at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and its many offshoots), they find him to be an ever-potent cultural touchstone.
And yet, for all the loyalty shown to the icon, and all the renewing excitement for those still discovering his legacy, many mysteries and unanswered questions have remained. A glut of concert films, biographies, DVDs and unauthorized videos already have attempted to explore his story over the years since his death, but the man himself remains almost as enigmatic as he is beloved.
All screenings are followed by lively discussions moderated by program director Floyd Webb or local scholars, screenwriters and directors.
Screenings occur the first Wednesday at
ICE Theaters Lawndale
3330 W Roosevelt Road
And first Thursday of every month at
Chatham 14 Theaters
210 W. 87th Street