Oscar winning director Kevin Macdonald talks to Screen about the making of his Bob Marley doc, which is almost completed.
Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald is in town tonight to present the first footage of his almost-complete documentary about iconic singer Bob Marley, who died 30 years ago to the day, on May 11, 1981. Marley is being sold here by Fortissimo.
“When I was working on The Last King Of Scotland in Uganda, I remember going into the slums of Kampala and seeing flags with his face on and hearing reggae pumping out. Anywhere you go in the world, Marley speaks to people. He still has this political and social resonance,” says the director, who boarded the project last year (Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme were previously attached).
In his quest to discover the man behind the music, Macdonald travelled to Jamaica, India, Tunisia and the US, as well as visiting Marley’s legendary producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry who now lives in Switzerland.
So what has he learnt about the reggae superstar? “People think he was just this guy sitting around smoking spliffs. He did smoke a lot of spliffs, but at the same time he was the most driven and professional person who worked until four in the morning and was a tough taskmaster. He had this vision of what he wanted to do with his music. But the question is, where did that vision come from?”
Looks like we’ll have to watch the doc to find out.