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The human side of Marley - Artists happy with ROKTOWA screening of 'The Making of A Legend'

Published:Monday | March 25, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Esther Anderson and Gian Godoy enjoy a moment during the showing of Bob Marley: Making of A Legend' at ROKTOWA, downtown Kingston last Friday. - photos by Winston Sill /Freelance Photographer
A scene from 'Bob Marley: Making Of A Legend' during the documentary's screening at ROKTOWA, downtown Kingston last Friday.
A Peter Simon picture of Bob Marley, performing with a picture of Emperor Haile Selassie I in the background. - Contributed
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Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer

Bob Marley has been immortalised by his music but the artiste is also deified by many.

Bob Marley: The Making of A Legend shows a less glamorous Bob Marley - not the Bob on stage before scores of fans or the one being interviewed by Steven Davis.

The film humanises the legend as we get to see rare footage of Marley caught in the push and pull of the human condition before he was thrust into the blaze of fame.

On Friday night, the co-directors of the must-see documentary, Jamaican filmmaker/actress/artist Esther Anderson and Chilean filmaker/artist Gian Godoy, hosted a special screening at ROKTOWA, downtown Kingston, in a bid to take the film back home and bring awareness to ROKTOWA and the downtown area.

ROKTOWA is a contemporary art project devoted to enriching communities in downtown Kingston. Founded by Australian artist Melinda Brown in 2005, ROKTOWA is now home to some invaluable artwork created by international and local artists like Bug Hart, whose work reveals a honed aesthetic eye.

"We got in touch with Melinda Brown who runs this art project called ROKTOWA. It being downtown was great as it was where we wanted to show the film because that's where the music came from originally. For us, it was like coming full circle," Godoy told The Gleaner.

"We want to bring some attention to this area. The downtown area played a huge role in Jamaica's history and culture and it needs to be preserved," Anderson added.

The film, according to Godoy, is a personal portrait of a period Anderson spent with Marley to help launch his career from 1973 through to 1976. The film, he says, features themes of love, aspiration and social consciousness.

It is said to feature footage of Marley, lost for 40 years.

Beautiful architecture

Godoy and Anderson recounted a fascinating story about footage of them driving through downtown at night that unfortunately did not make the final cut.

"Kingston has the most beautiful architecture in all of Jamaica. You find some in Spanish Town and so on but this is where the heart of it all is," Godoy said.

The artistic pair is trying to organise a screening of the film in Trench Town - Bob Marley's home, a community repeatedly referred to as the real birthplace of reggae.

Anderson also revealed that she has been fruitlessly reaching out to Palace Amusement's head honcho, Douglas Graham, in order to have the film carried in cinemas throughout the island.

Bob Marley: Making of A Legend has received multiple awards and Godoy and Anderson have been invited to 40 film festivals around the world to showcase the film.

Anderson, who could be described as a Jamaican Frida Kahlo, (a Mexican painter best known for her self-portraits), stressed that the film is her and Godoy's artistic expression and should be viewed as such.

To learn more about the film visit www.bobmarleymakingofthelegend.com and for more information on ROKTOWA visit roktowa.org.