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Life and times of Bob on film

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Life and times of Bob on film

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The life and times of Jamaican musical legend Bob Marley in black and white is mesmerizing. That it was shot by his lover and friend Esther Anderson is as revealing as some of the never before seen footage of Bob And The Wailers.
Jamaican-born film-maker Anderson is now in Barbados to promote and introduce her film The Musical Documentary – Bob Marley: The Making Of A Legend.
The film premiered on Friday at Limegrove Cinemas, with three more screenings at Sheraton Centre, the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination and the Israel Lovell Foundation.
Esther met Bob Marley in New York at the end of 1972, shortly after starring in A Warm December opposite Sidney Poitier, at a time when Bob was still unknown.
A minority shareholder and co-founder of Island Records, Esther helped to launch the international career of Jamaican artistes like Millie Small and Jimmy Cliff from the early 1960s in London.
When Bob asked her to help him and The Wailers, Esther returned to Jamaica to launch the band, rehearsing them, photographing them and filming their early development.
This entire journey was recorded by Esther with a prototype Sony video camera and a Super 8 film camera for a blueprint film on The Wailers, reggae music and the Rastafarian culture, and a Nikon camera for the promotion of their new image.
Esther and Bob’s first collaboration was the song Get Up, Stand Up, followed by I Shot the Sheriff, Burnin’ And Lootin’, Talking Blues, Revolution, Easy Skanking, Roadblock and War. Her photograph of Bob smoking became the first iconic poster of Bob Marley And The Wailers and later the front cover of their album Catch A Fire.
Esther’s story and her relationship with Bob Marley And The Wailers was a well kept secret. All the video footage, Super-8 and most of the photographs were lost.
Until one day a documentary maker working for Channel 4 went to interview her for a programme on Bob Marley in Britain, and he told her of some tapes that they had found in a garage in Canada. Esther and Gian Godoy realized they were the videotapes that had been “lost” for 37 years.
Esther and Gian started the blueprint for a documentary film of Bob Marley And The Wailers at the beginning of their career in 56 Hope Road, now the Bob Marley Museum, in black and white, combined with new footage of the people and places that contributed to the making of the legend in colour: the past and the present united by Esther’s narration together with an original music soundtrack.
Esther and Gian have designed Bob Marley: The Making Of A Legend as an intimate cinematographic portrait, showing two artistes in love working together, revealing a young Bob Marley as a human being before the legend.
The London premiere of the film took place at the British Film Institute last December. (NSH/PR)