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Africa Unite

Africa Unite“His name conjures up the talented,
  Rastafarian singer-songwriter he was;
  but Bob Marley represents more than
  that — his legacy is the spirituality and
  determination of a man who went back
  to his roots in Ethiopia with a dream
  to see a self-sufficient, united Africa...”

AFRICA UNITE IS A TRULY REMARKABLE FILM. In commemoration of legendary reggae icon Bob Marley's 60th birthday, this documentary centres around the Marley family's first ever visit to Ethiopia in 2005.

More than 300,000 people came from all over the world to experience a twelve-hour concert, designed to inspire Africa's youth to unite for the future of their continent and featuring three generations of the Marley family, in Ethiopia's capital city of Addis Ababa.

As well as performances from the concert, Africa Unite features interviews with young people who reveal how they see Bob Marley, what he means to them and how they see his vision of a united Africa. They talk of peace and understanding but say they are not asking for charity, only that their country will be self-sufficient and be able to feed itself and also share with other Africans who are unable to do this. They want to build their own new, united Africa.

The film encapsulates the spirit of Bob Marley and highlights the prejudice to which the very spiritual Rastafarians have been subjected in the past. Each Rastafarian has read the bible many times and their knowledge is great.

Bob Marley, himself a Rastafarian, comes across as having been gentle and spiritual with a passionate wish to see Africa united and peace brought to the 'Dark Continent'. He devoted his working life to African unity and his dream lives on.

If Africa can be united through music, this concert at Ethiopia's Africa Hall should be the start. Ethiopia is a very special place and young people there talk and dream of peace and unity. Africa Hall was inaugurated on 6 February 1961 by his Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, who dedicated it to the service of the people. It is an incredible coincidence that this should also be Bob Marley's birthday.

Africa Unite features enthusiastic performances on stage with a soundtrack packed with Bob Marley studio classics and also uses rare archive footage. Along with actor Danny Glover and world music sensation Angélique Kidjo — who are both UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors — there are appearances by Lauryn Hill and Ziggy and Rita Marley, Bob Marley's mother Cedelia Booker and Princess Mary, the granddaughter of Haile Selassie.

By the 19th Century, Africa had been carved up and European flags flew over once-independent nations. Bob Marley was a visionary who believed that in order to be free you have to first free your own minds. He wanted to see the unification of all African countries with free trade throughout the continent.

The real goal now is for the United States of Africa with basic human rights, no class system and equality to all, regardless of race. Until that day comes, the African continent will not know peace. That is a wonderful sentiment in a positive and uplifting film that beautifully showcases the great Bob Marley's compelling music alongside a desire to see Africa Unite.

Africa Unite is Produced and Directed by Stephanie Black; Associate Producer is Ras Bobby Morgan; Cinematography by Arthur Jafa, Kyle Kibbe, Malik Hassan Sayeed, Carla Swanson, Asa Mchail, Chris Browne, Sean John, Axel Baumann; Executive Producers are Rita Marley and Cedelia Marley, Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes.

Made in 2007, the film features many superb tracks, including — Africa Unite written by Bob Marley and performed by Ziggy Marley and the Marley Brothers | Exodus written and performed by Bob Marley | We And Dem written and performed by Bob Marley | Get Up Stand Up (Stand Up For Your Rights) written by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and performed by Stephen Marley and the Marley Brothers | Afrika, written by Jean Louis Hebrail and Angelique Carmen Kidjo, performed by Angelique Kidjo | Bob Marley, written and performed by Teddy Afro | War/No More Trouble written by Bob Marley, Allen Cole and Carlton Barret, performed by Julian Marley | He's A Legend written by Marcia Griffith and performed by Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths and Eric Newell.

Network Releasing is delighted to announce the UK availability of a unique, multi-faceted film about Africa, reggae and the Marley family narrated by Danny Glover and executive-produced by the Hollywood actor and Rita Marley. Africa Unite is released on 22 August 2011. Total Running Time: 99 Minutes Approximately | RRP: £12.99 | Catalogue Number: 7953457.

"…a positive and uplifting film that beautifully showcases the great Bob Marley's compelling music alongside a desire to see Africa Unite"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar