"What do Jamaicans love more than a man who's just survived a gunfight?" asks Bob Marley's elegant, dreadlocked lawyer as she recalls the aftermath of the attempted assassination of the reggae superstar. It is at these moments when the life of the mercurial musician pressed closest to the chaotic, vibrant life of his native island that this thoughtful documentary is at its best.
Director Kevin MacDonald emphasises the ways in which Marley was a product of the faultlines of race and colonialism that fissured Jamaican culture. The son of a black mother and an absent white father, he was an outsider who forged himself into 'a serious focus man' and took the raucous sounds of Trenchtown and transformed them into the world beating songs that would bring him the success he craved. At 144 minutes and with the music used primarily to illustrate the life this is probably a film for the fan rather than the casual viewer.