Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary "Mother of the Blues," Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio's claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) - who has an eye for Ma's girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry - spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives. Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society's prejudices dictate their worth. Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben ...
It would be an empty world without the blues.
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Did You Know?
With this film, Mia Neal
and Jamika Wilson
become the first persons of color to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. See more
Life ain't shit. You can put it in a paper bag and carry it around with you. It ain't got no balls. Now death... . death got some style. Death will kick your ass and make you wish you never been born. That's how bad death is. But you can rule over life. Life ain't nothing. Nigga talking about life is fair and ain't got a pot to piss in.
During the first part of the credits, actual photographs of the real Ma Rainey
and the musicians who inspired the characters in the play are shown. See more
Hear Me Talking to You
Written by Ma Rainey
(as Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey)
Produced and Arranged by Branford Marsalis See more