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Film promotes Marley’s vision of African unity
A documentary promoting reggae and social icon, the late Bob Marley’s vision of a united Africa featured during We Beat celebrations in St James last Tuesday night. The WeBeat film night, which featured a full length documentary and a short film, was hosted by the T&T Film Festival (TTFF) and took place at the St James Amphitheatre. The full length documentary called Africa Unite saw three generations of Marleys as they journeyed through Africa for the annual Africa Unite Concert in 2005 for what would have been Bob Marley’s 60th birthday. The documentary also featured footage of live performances by Marley and fans could be seen singing the lyrics while dancing to the different beats.
The 12-hour concert, which took place in Ethiopia, was attended by more than 300,000 people from around the world. The documentary was produced by Stephanie Black and executive produced by Rita Marley, Cedella Marley, Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes. The free movie night, was moderately populated as patrons ventured out to see the Marley film and a locally produced short film by director Leroy Smart called The Suspect. Those who attended also had the opportunity of interacting with Donisha Prendergast, granddaughter of Bob Marley. Prendergast interacted with the crowd, not only in introducing the film but also holding a short discussion about her experiences while making the documentary with her family.
In an interview with the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, Prendergast described the journey documented in the film as a remarkable experience. She shared that her family was extremely close and described them as a unit. “My family is like an army and we were cultured to be ‘Jah’ soldiers,” she said. Prendergast was also in T&T to promote a documentary film that she co-directed. The film titled Rasta: A Soul’s Journey, features Prendergast on her journey of self discovery as she searches for what it really means to be a Rasta in today’s society. Her documentary is set to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September and Prendergast said she was looking forward to returning to Trinidad so it could be screened at the T&T Film Festival later this year.
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