The video, directed by French artists Octave Marshal and Théo De Gueltzl, features over 2,500 original drawings woven together to give new life and meaning to Marley’s classic song of perseverance and peace. The new animated video is filled with iconic imagery of the Rastafari lions that permeated Marley’s work, as well as civil rights leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and the suffering of slaves under the yolk of oppression. Marley is pictured throughout the video, as he strums a guitar made of flowers, as well as in the final scene as he extends out his arms with clenched fists to a stadium full of fans.
“From the history of Slavery and Jamaica, Rastafarian culture, legacy of prophets (Haile SelassieI, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X), as well as Bob’s personal life, we take the audience on a journey through allegories and representations,” the artists said in a statement.
“Redemption Song” was originally released in October 1980 and appeared on Marley’s final album, Uprising, which came out the year before he died of cancer. The new video marks the first installment of “Marley75”, a year-long celebration of Marley’s birthday, which would have seen the singer turn 75 on February 6th. The series will feature unreleased material throughout the year, accompanied by original artwork, photography, and more.