“Every coloured man in the world got to do his part!” Marking ‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman’s final film, George C. Wolfe’s MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM is a feature adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s Tony Award-nominated play dealing with issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers.
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 (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.
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM is released on Netflix on December 18, 2020.