I love bio flicks!Especially about those who led interesting lives and the film is made by a director that actually gives you an accurate, good inside look into their personal lives.
(No, I was not a fan of the Aaliyah movie that was on Lifetime, nor the Whitney one)I especially enjoy the ones about women in history, particularly African American women.
First time I had heard of singer Bessie Smith was probably in Elementary school. When I heard about the movie and saw previews, of course it caught my attention but didn't know who she really was or what her story was.I have been a fan of rapper/actress Queen Latifah since I was little. I didn't know any of the verses to the song, but knew the chorus "U.N.I.T.Y, you gotta let 'em know, you ain't a B**** or a Hoe. Also, I grew up watching her on Living Single a "Kadijah James".
In the portrayal of Blues pioneer singer Bessie Smith, I would say she executed the role thoroughly and wonderfully!
From the movie you got to know Bessie Smith and she was not a person to be angered or tested. She would even fight a man in a minute, but also you could tell by the nude scene of her looking at herself in the mirror she was still a woman inside and very vulnerable.
Like many great singers her life was cut short at any early age but she managed to live an interesting life from what the movie told.In the era that she lived in the early 1900's being gay was still taboo, even though some of her lyrics and her friend/teachers songs had some pretty secreted lyrics as well.
Throughout her life it portrayed that she had problems stemming from her troubled child hood losing her father and mother at a young age and being left to be taken care of by her not-so-nice older sister.The same themes appeared in story-line that many of us struggle with today. But even back then there seemed to be the same issues many women struggle with today. The past, love, messed up relationships, cheating, weight, self-confidence, addictions.
I can say I was very appreciative of director 's frank portrayal of this iconic singer. I love when I can feel a characters strength and passion through the television or movie screen. I will definitely be buying this movie to add to my collection!