Monthly Archives: April 2012

Marley

ImageThe Bob Marley music doc simply titled “Marley,” enjoying two Special Presentation screenings at this year’s Hot Docs, is one heck of an excellent music doc. It accesses all the family members close to Marley, his wife, children, distant relatives, who speak candidly about “Robert.” The film travels to the lush, mountainous village of his childhood to the streets of Trench Town. It contains footage from his years in London, his travels on European and American tours, to his trip to Africa. The film recounts Bob’s relationship with Rastafarianism, touches on his infamous virility (12 children by 7 women), and illustrates the politics and social movements of his time which injured him with bullets and tear-gas, and left him shaken. Despite this, he never gave up “music for the people.”

Though the film hears from his band-mates and musical colleagues, what this documentary thankfully avoids is a bunch of contemporary musicians extolling his virtues ad nauseum. Bob Marley’s musical talent and innovation clearly has left a lasting mark on our culture, and in my heart particularly. I certainly don’t need to be told of his talent. When music documentaries resort to this “filler” I am always tempted to tune-out.

“Marley” is a gorgeous, interesting, wholistic journey about a fascinating man and his soulful music. It will probably come to be known as the difinitive Bob Marley film.

For more about the film: http://www.bobmarley.com/

For Hot Docs screeening times: http://www.hotdocs.ca//film/title/marley

Saving Face

A film about women disfigured by acid attacks is not usually something I want to unwind to at the end of a long, stressful day. But when I spotted this year’s Oscar award-winning short documentary on HBO Canada’s on demand list, I decided to give it a peek, thinking, if it gets to be too much I will turn it off, no guilty feelings.

Though “Saving Face” angered me and disturbed me with its vicious acts – most often perpetrated by the husbands of these women for the most absurdly imagined transgressions – the film engaged me to the end for two main reasons:

– it didn’t dwell on the misery – in fact, the women were bravely coming together to make lasting legal reform, and

– the doctor character at the centre of the film, Dr Mohammed Jawad, had such spark, humour and compassion that I really enjoyed his presence on screen

The tone of the film was therefore less activist and more sharing. Unlike many “cause” films, this one embraced me and encouraged my compassion instead of forcing me to pick sides and get angry. I promptly suggested a plastic surgeon friend of mine to consider contributing his talents to this cause.