"Marley" is about as ambitious a documentary as Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" is a narrative film -- and like the latter, it's a rich, exhausting, ultimately rewarding portrait of emotional connection through music and the power of bringing people together. Of course, brilliant as "Margaret" is, you can't say it isn't depressing as fuck. But, holy shit. We're not here to talk about "Margaret".
Kevin Macdonald had a tricky task in coming at the legacy of an elusive person with "Marley". Rather than outline the caricature of Bob Marley or invade family privacy, Macdonald through eyewitness accounts (family and Wailers band members, etc.) goes for something deeper than the artist himself; to remind us of the peace and unity Marley strived for his whole (too short) life. And also instead of relying on testy political weight, Macdonald handles just about all aspects of Marley's upbringing and career with equal fascination, clarity and respect. In other words everything Bob Marley fought for and sang about in one comprehensive (and for now definitive) epic of one man's message that even long since spoken still today feels just as radiantly everywhere.