Let’s Discuss ‘Guava Island,’ Where Donald Glover Meets Bob Marley (and Rihanna’s There, Too)

The Childish Gambino film reminds us of Marley’s iconic “Smile Jamaica” concert

Last Updated: April 20, 2019 @ 9:03 AM

The new Amazon film “Guava Island” is about a tropical paradise that showcases both the music of Donald Glover and the cruelties of unchecked capitalism. It’s also the subject of our latest “Low Key” podcast, which you can listen to on Apple or right here.

The film is about Deni (Glover, aka Childish Gambino) a charming musician who loves both the people of his island — especially Kofi (Rihanna). His dream of putting on a music festival is threatened by dictator Red Cargo (Nonso Anozie), who worries that the festival will keep people from showing up for work the next morning.

The setup reminds us a little of Bob Marley’s 1976 “Smile Jamaica” concert — which almost got Marley killed. Two days before the performance, would-be killers shot Bob Marley in the chest and his wife Rita Marley in the head. They also shot his manager, Don Taylor, and band employee Louis Griffiths. Miraculously, everyone survived, and Marley put on a legendary concert that began with the song “War.”

Interestingly, Amazon plans a series based on Marlon James’ novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” which is inspired in part by the plot to kill Marley. The novel won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. We wonder on the podcast if Glover’s “Guava Island” will steal any of the thunder from the Marley project, for which we have very high hopes.

We also talk this episode about how Glover’s “Atlanta” has become such an excellent launchpad for talented actors, and how we kind of wish Rihanna had more to do in “Guava Island,” because, well, she’s great.

If you like the episode, please check back Monday, when we’ll release a special episode about our hopes for “Avengers: Endgame.” In fact, the best way to make sure you get it might be to subscribe. If you want to.