Skip to main content

Bob Marley One Love (PG-13)

By March 3, 2024March 5th, 2024Backstage Pass

When Kinsley Ben-Adir brilliantly appears on stage during a concert as Bob Marley and the Wailers, it’s as if he was born to play the part. His lip-syncing is perfection, and his dancing to the music is nothing short of contagious. Yeah, Man, I found myself tapping, humming, and swaying in my seat during my big-screen movie theatre screening of “Bob Marley: One Love.” Being a fan of Bob Marley’s music and having visited Jamaica’s beautiful, lush country on two occasions, I was gleefully immersed in the film.

Before the start of the film, producer Ziggy Marley, his son, introduced the film, saying he hoped we’d learn a little more about his dad’s philosophies for his Jamaican people. As a fan, I knew a little of his messages of peace and to simply get along with each other. Although there were many aspects of his life I didn’t know, through viewing the film, I became enlightened. In particular, his wife, Rita Marley, portrayed by Lashana Lynch, is a singer and the mother of several of his children; Bob is known to be the father of 13 children, although Rita was his primary love.

Cedella, Rita and Bob’s daughter was instrumental in making the docu-drama as authentic as possible. She’d send footage to her mother and others to make comments. She said in the press notes, “We had people we could access to get their point of view on rehearsals, chilling, or having a party. People who had lived the story that made the story so right.

I knew of his “Rastafari faith” that is rooted in 1930s Jamaica as a response by Black people to white colonial oppression. The beliefs are a melding of Old Testament teachings and a desire to return to Africa. Its message was spread worldwide in the 1970s by Jamaican music icons Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, a friend and member of the Wailers. Therefore, what you see in the film is non-stop marijuana smoking by Marley and his band, known as ‘Ganja,’ native to the West Indies. A much more potent, hallucinogenic laced form of marijuana. Honestly, it’s not easy to watch anyone smoke non-spot these days, knowing what we know about lung cancer. Here, he does smoke non-stop, although it is part of the ‘Rasta’ lifestyle and a crucial aspect of his life.

Bob Marley’s music and philosophical teachings did command the attention of the world and his people’s plight. I enjoyed this love letter from his family to shed light on an important person in our world and what he did to send messages to a bureaucratic society—his message of Peace and Love.

Side Note: I remember when my first grandchild Calvin was learning to talk, my daughter played music to him all the time. He’d come over to me and say, “Play Bob, play Bob Marley.” He loved the song “Three Little Birds.”

Sarah Knight Adamson©  March 3, 2024