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Bob Marley Documentary Opens on 4/20

written by: on February 28, 2012

A Kevin Macdonald-directed Bob Marley documentary will blaze into U.S. theaters April 20 after playing Austin, TX’s South by Southwest festival in March.

According to an L.A. Times article, “Marley” debuted at the Berlin Film Festival on Feb. 12; the 2 ½ hour bio-doc includes interviews with the reggae legend’s family members, friends, lovers and musicians. The film also includes concert footage, rare recordings and 50 of Marley’s songs (a preview is below).

Directors Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme were attached to the film at one point, but producer Steve Bing brought in “Last King of Scotland” director Macdonald.

The director told reporters in Berlin he only had 13 months to complete work on the documentary. Macdonald has also directed 1999’s Oscar-winning “One Day in September” and 2003’s “Touching the Void.”

The film will provide a glimpse into Marley’s rise from poverty in rural Jamaica to music visionary status. Marley died from cancer at the age of 36 in 1981.

Some surprises are revealed about Marley such as his employment at a hotel and a factory in Wilmington, DE, and the alienation and rejection he felt as a mixed-race child.

Magnolia Pictures bought U.S. distribution rights for “Marley,” and VH1 has secured the television rights.