Biography of the African-American who became a major performer in the Paris cabarets of the 1920's and 1930's. The film follows her life beginning as a struggling performer in 1917 St. ... See full summary »
Biography of the African-American who became a major performer in the Paris cabarets of the 1920's and 1930's. The film follows her life beginning as a struggling performer in 1917 St. Louis, her frustrations leading to her move to France, and follows to her death in 1975. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Some outstanding performances here by Whitfield, Blades, Gossett, and others in this overly long biography of an important, outspoken, and controversial African American woman, who was years ahead of her time. It was quite a revelation to see how African Americans were treated in St. Louis and in New York in the decades before the civil rights advances of the 50's and 60's. We all know about the history of the South, but in many places up North, things were nearly as difficult for minorities in the 1930's and 40's.
The story of Josephine Baker had to be told since so many of us are not familiar with her achievements. And HBO and the cast did an outstanding job doing so. The movie was entertaining and sexual, eye-opening and thought provoking. It covered American society as well as French and even gave us some insights into Josephine's heroics and patriotism during WWII and her push for equality of the races in the U.S. military. I would have preferred to see the movie end while Josephine was at the top and still young, rather than drag on with her numerous adoptions and comeback attempts. That's why it was not a major motion picture.....too long and drawn out for theater audiences.
A good movie to watch at home while putting away the laundry or brushing the dog.
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