Music has been for a long time been associated with politics


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Music has been for a long time been associated with politics, with a large number of musicians being involved in politics through their indirect influence as well as their ability to command a large population. Due to their influence, some of the musicians have been labeled as rebels to the government with some of the accusations leading to the assassination. Politicians, however, have misused the musicians and manipulated them to their gain.

‘Who shot the Sheriff’ is a Netflix documentary that narrates the circumstance that led to the attempted assassination of the Jamaican reggae icon, Bob Marley. Bob Marley was a famous reggae musician commanding a large crowd in Jamaica. Bob was a Rastafarian and rose to fame during the times that Jamaica was in chaos with people getting into war due to politics. Due to this Bob formed an underground movement named the roots and reggae movement and through this movement, he advocated for unity among the people through his music. Marley gained international recognition, and this sent tension to the politicians back at home as they saw a revolution and considered Bob Marley a threat. Two days before Marley could perform to a concert organized by the then prime minister of Jamaica Michael Manly, Bob together with his family and manager were shot by unknown people. According to the documentary, it is inferred that the attempted suicide was a plot to warn Bob to restrain himself from engaging in politics, and the CIA is thought to have had an upper hand of the attack.

The filmmaker intends to investigate who shot Bob Marley and therefore the film is an investigative documentary. The documentary opens with flickering images of black and white. Gunshots and people armed with guns are seen in the film, and this implies that Jamaica was in war at the time of the shooting. The documentary uses natural lighting, but the contrast is not very clear, and the reason is that the documentary uses past images recorded at a time when the technology was not advanced. Since the images and most of the videos were recorded past the year 1976, the visual quality is not that pleasing, and therefore the visual quality cannot be termed to be very good. However, the audio is very clear, and one can hear the wording without any strains. The coordination of the audio and visual elements is excellent, and this makes the overall quality of the documentary to be of high quality. Since the whole documentary is investigative, various interviews are done with different personalities providing their perspective on what transposed at the time of the shooting. Interviews are a source of valid data, and therefore it is a production of facts from the first-hand source, and this increases the credibility of the author. Through the interviews, that include from Bob Marley himself, we are able to obtain firsthand information and therefore sum up that the overall quality of the documentary is highly rated.

The mood created in the documentary is that of fear as people are seen shooting at one another and this creates a feeling of anxiety. The black and white images are a reminder of the past and therefore carries the mind of the viewer sometimes back. The responses of the Bob Marley during the interviews depicts him as being brave as he seems not to fear anything and this triggers a response of bravery from the audience. Despite the introduction of the documentary being hot with gunshots, Bob is seen with only a guitar in a concert preaching for peace, and this triggers responses of unity and togetherness to the people. Since Bob was a reggae artist, the Rastafarian colors are vividly depicted even through his dressing as well as the long hair that is a culture of the Rastafarians eliciting a response of being true to own religion which again calls for peace and unity. The documentary is thrilling and at the same time educative and therefore serves more than just being an investigative documentary.


Netflix. “Who Shot the Sheriff”. Retrieved from: