What You Need To Know:

TIME WILL TELL is a documentary on the life of Bob Marley, reggae musician and the Third World's first superstar. TIME WILL TELL falters because of a lack of narration (making the film almost incoherent) and uncritical depiction of cultic Rastafarian theology and marijuana use.


(A/D, Ab, H, FR, NA) Extensive use of marijuana and hashish; worship of Ethiopian King Haile Selassie I as the Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; Marcus Garvey-inspired philosophy of black separatism; and, pro-socialist message.

More Detail:

TIME WILL TELL documents how the pivotal figure of one of the world’s most peculiar cults rose from obscurity to international prominence and legitimacy. Bob Marley was born in 1945 and was raised by his mother in Trench Town, a “shanty town” outside of Kingston, Jamaica. He began recording in 1962, formed the Wailing Wailers in 1963, and, after an eight-month stay in America, Marley re-formed the Wailers in Kingston with a brand-new sound: Reggae; and a brand-new vision: Rastafarianism. The spiritual vision of Bob Marley made him both an international superstar and the object of an assassination attempt. Marley played a concert within days in defiance of the would-be assassins, but eventually went into self-imposed exile in Europe and Africa. At the concert’s climax, he is shown actually getting Prime Minister Michael Manley and Opposition Leader Edward Seaga to join hands on stage. Sadly, he completed only one more major tour of Europe before dying of cancer in a Miami hospital in May 1981.

TIME WILL TELL uses no narration and no commentary, only interviews with Marley and concert clips. This makes much of the film impossible to understand because of Marley’s thick Jamaican accent. Also, Marley was a daily user of huge quantities of marijuana (the principal sacrament of Rastafarianism). The music of TIME WILL TELL is excellent, although it is a shame to realize that it was dedicated to a cultic religion and a false god.