On Thursday, February 6, Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley would have turned 75. Marley was responsible for the spread of global reggae in the 1970s and still appeals to the imagination of millions of music lovers all over the world. That’s why Caribbean Creativity, in collaboration with Melkweg and more than ten other film theaters, is organizing a tribute to the ‘King of Reggae’ with a full-blown Marley75 Film Festival in Amsterdam and various other cities accros the Netherlands, including reggae premieres, classics and parties.
The Marley75 Film Festival runs from February 1-20, 2020. During this period, almost every day a film can be seen about Marley, his legacy or his home country Jamaica in one of the participating film theaters: Melkweg, De Balie, Rialto, De Uitkijk, Studio/K, Filmhuis Guinea, Oxville Cinema, Filmhuis Vrijburcht and Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam, LantarenVenster in Rotterdam, Filmhuis Den Haag and Filmhuis Alkmaar. In total, there will be more than 20 screenings spread across 12 film theaters throughout the first 20 days of Reggae Month, as February is commonly called in Jamaica. In addition to various premieres and classics, of course there are also some reggae parties during the festival.
The film festival opens on Saturday, February 1, in Melkweg Amsterdam with the Dutch premiere of No Place Like Home: Redux (2019). This sequel from Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come (1972), the first Jamaican feature film ever made, was lost for more than 25 years, but has not only been found and restored, but now also contains new scenes and all the reggae tracks that the late Henzell always wanted for his second film. The screening is preceded by Perry Henzell: A Filmmaker’s Odyssey (2019), a short documentary about the search and restoration of No Place Like Home. After the film, visitors can watch the also recently restored version of The Harder They Come and take a dance at Club Shiloh, the reggae club night of well-known Dutch sound system King Shiloh.
On Thursday, February 6, the actual birthday of Bob Marley, Melkweg is organizing a Marley75 concert featuring the Rootsriders, Shirma Rouse and others. Kevin Macdonald’s Marley (2012), the ultimate documentary about the life of the King of Reggae, will be shown twice that evening. In the following weekend there are two more premieres in Melkweg: on Saturday 8 February the Dutch premiere of the new documentary Studio17: The Lost Reggae Tapes (2019) and on Sunday 9 February the Amsterdam premiere of the restored reggae classic Babylon (1980/2019). The screening of Studio 17 will be introduced by Reshma B, reggae journalist and one of the producers of the film.
The Marley75 Film Festival will close in Amsterdam on Sunday 16 February with the screening of RasTa: A Soul’s Journey (2013), a documentary by Donisha Prendergast, Bob Marley’s granddaughter, during the Marley75 tribute evening of Reggae Vibrations in Tolhuistuin. The closing film of the festival can be seen on Thursday evening, February 20, in Rotterdam. This evening, film theatre LantarenVenster will show the latest feature film hailing from Jamaica, the award-winning sports drama Sprinter (2018).
For the complete program of the Marley75 Film Festival, people can consult the website of Caribbean Creativity at www.caribbeancreativity.nl. The film festival, and all individual screenings and parties, can also be found on the following Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/