Love: The Bob Marley All-Star Tribute. New York: Palm
Pictures, 2000. 110 minutes, color. Produced by Tall Pony Productions.
1999 a tribute concert to Bob Marley (1944-1981) was held at
Oracabessa Bay in Jamaica. Performers from the United States
and Jamaica offered renditions of Marley’s songs, and TNT broadcast
the performance in the spring of 2000.
video presents the songs in the TNT broadcast along with five
bonus songs performed by members of the Marley family. The songs
comprise a solid "greatest hits" list, and the well-known performers
include Lauryn Hill, Chrissie Hynde, Erykah Badu, Queen Latifah,
Jimmy Cliff, Busta Rhymes, Chris Robinson, Darius Rucker, Ben
Harper, and Tracy Chapman as well as several of Bob Marley’s
sons and his daughter Cedella Marley Booker.
little commentary by the performers interrupts the music in
this tightly edited video. All of the performers claim Marley’s
influence. While some, such as noted reggae star Jimmy Cliff,
stick closely to the original composition and style, others
add their variations that bear witness to the transformation
of reggae into dancehall and hip hop. Since Bob Marley’s death,
dancehall has become a popular musical form in Jamaica, and
the mostly Jamaican crowd gives Busta Rhymes and Julian Marley
a rousing response for their rendition of "Rasta Man Chant."
R&B star Lauryn Hill demonstrates her wide vocal and stylistic
range in "Turn the Lights Down Low" and in an elegiac performance
with Ziggy Marley of "Redemption Song." Marley’s political advocacy
inspires a militant rap version of "Rat Race." Although the
video does not present information about Marley’s life or music,
it is an entertaining tribute to a musical pioneer.
and Learn Chinese with Mei Mei. Cincinnati, Ohio: Master
Communications, Inc., 2000. 42 minutes, color. ISBN 1-888194-25-1,
$29.95 (public performance); $19.95 (home use).
format used in this videotape is suitable for young children
with little background in the Mandarin Chinese language. It
teaches the very basic things that children can start using
right away in their daily life, and the games and songs are
fun to watch and easy to play along. While viewing the tape,
my two children, one and five years of age, were having fun
learning and singing along. I believe most children will enjoy
watching and will learn some basic Chinese from the video.
the quality of the tape is not professional, and sometimes it
is actually boring due to limited visual attraction. The presentation
of some of the games is at times incomplete. For example, in
the original version of "pulling the carrot," different people
or animals should be called to join the effort one at a time,
so children who are watching and singing along can learn the
Chinese words accordingly. Instead, all the children are shown
already in a group from the beginning, and the tape makes it
difficult to discern the role each child is playing. Nevertheless,
this is a moderately successful and fun tape for young children
to learn Mandarin Chinese, and it is not expensive, but the
rather homemade quality can be a drawback for some.
Community Center/Chinese School of the Capital District, _Albany,
Lord, Selma. Burbank, Calif.: Disney Educational Productions,
2000. 90 minutes, color. Includes Teacher’s Guide. $99.00.
targeted for intermediate or junior high ages, this feature-length
video adaptation of the true-life memoirs of two courageous
African-American girls, Sheyann Webb and Rachel West Nelson
(Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights
Days; University of Alabama Press, 1980), could be enjoyed
by any age from upper elementary to adult. This video tells
the story of how these two girls and their families joined the
nonviolent crusade for racial equality led by Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., in the 1960s. Students at the upper elementary through
high school level will relate to the protagonists through the
moving yet accurate portrayal of the struggle for civil rights
in the mid-century American South.
production, well acted and scripted, does much to assist teachers
in allowing their students to discover a lot on their own. Although
a great deal of information is given about the period, still
many questions can be generated in any classroom to begin the
process of inquiry. The teacher’s guide is well constructed
and follows the "standards-based" education format preferred
by education professionals today. Included are background information,
suggested web sites, a historical time line, pre-viewing and
post-viewing questions, and suggested activities that will allow
children to explore further the history of America during some
of her days of greatest conflict. The primary source cited at
the end of the teacher’s guide, King’s "I Have a Dream" speech,
is printed in its entirety and is truly reflected in the message
the video projects. Well done, Disney!
Elementary School, _Clifton Park, N.Y.