Bob Marley’s classic “No Woman, No Cry” gets a timely new visual as we celebrates International Reggae Day 2020.
Celebrated annually on July 1st, International Reggae Day would not be complete without a gesture from the genre’s pioneer-in-chief, the Gong himself, Bob Marley. Brand new visuals were premiered on Wednesday for his classic matriarchal ode, “No Woman, No Cry,” to commemorate the day’s festivities. Directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa, the visionary behind the SXSW Jury Award-winning short film “Pa’lante,” the new video explores themes of separation and strength while honoring the “Time Will Tell” singer.
“No Woman, No Cry” was originally released on 1976’s “Rastaman Vibration” and is one of the most endeared entries in the Marley canon, covered countless times by an equally diverse roster: Erykah Badu, The Fugees, Nina Simone, Byron Lee, and the Dragonaires, Billy Ocean and Jimmy Cliff.
The new visuals present the challenges and rewards of remaining resilient despite a disrupted family life. This is a common Caribbean reality, and Figueroa knew exactly how to set the scene owing partly to his previous portrayal of the post-Hurricane plights of a Puerto Rican family. In the new seven-minute short film, the father is a migrant worker driving a taxi in bustling New York City to support his family, while the mother strives selflessly to ensure their children are taken care of.
Both dreams of a better life and improved circumstances for their children and do their best to create a future of hope. Figueroa shines an artful light on an all too familiar tale of sacrifice, leading us through their struggle yet leaving the impression that much like the song’s refrain, “everything is gonna be alright.” The weight of those words from the messenger has uplifted generations long after his untimely passing, even his own offspring. “One of the biggest lessons Daddy taught me is that even in the most difficult circumstances, change is possible,” said Cedella Marley during last month’s launch of her new book “Redemption: Reflections on Creating a Better World.”
The premiere is yet another piece in the ongoing festivities marking the occasion of the late legend’s 75th birthday. Other releases include more visuals from the 12 part docu-series Bob Marley: Legacy featuring footage of fans, friends, and family curating his highs, lows, pastimes, and life’s work. The next episode, “Rhythm of the Game,” delves into Bob Marley’s undying love for football while a new HD music video for the stage anthem “Lively Up Yourself” makes its debut on July 3rd. A limited-edition picture disc set of Bob Marley’s Billboard mainstay album Legend will also be made available on July 24.