Kobe Bryant Reveals Rarely Seen Sense of Vulnerability in New Documentary

LOS ANGELES — For someone who loves movies as much as he does, and considering he wraps up his new Showtime documentary with the words that feeling like a failure is to him "almost worse than death," Kobe Bryant's movie of his life was destined to be worth watching.

Indeed, it is very good, with rich imagery wisely focusing more on Bryant's vulnerability and challenges than his obvious accomplishments.

Deep profiles only work when they show warts on even the prettiest people, and Bryant is willing to share his loneliest, darkest moments so the audience can better understand his maniacal drive toward those obvious accomplishments.

With Bryant involved in editing down to this final week before the premiere on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT Saturday, Kobe Bryant's Muse opens with him divulging a dream he had after his Achilles tendon tear: He's on the court at Staples Center…but cannot jump.

Bleacher Report was granted an advance viewing of the film, which crystallizes why Bryant has always seen himself as an underdog, even though much of the public has interpreted his cocky preps-to-pros jump from a privileged upbringing as the exact opposite.

Bryant taps back into his feelings at 13, when his parents brought him back to America from Italy for good, and the man viewed as a global god these days was then just an insecure little boy.

"Sitting at a lunch table, all by myself," Bryant says. "No friends."

The movie is told entirely from Bryant's point of view—him sitting in a black T-shirt and facing the camera in front of a gray backdrop, faintly lit. Clips from his past are interspersed to bring it all to life, but Bryant's ability to own a scene via merely his face and words is a unique power for someone whose legend was built on his body and actions.

Bryant and director Gotham Chopra bring the concept of the lunch table back later in the film, after slow-mo...

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