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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (15)

Viola Davis plays Ma Rainey singing into a mic with her band around her

Viola Davis and Chadwick Bosemen star in this film adaptation about trailblazing blues singer, Ma Rainey.

Adapted from August Wilson's play, this biographical drama sees tensions rise at an afternoon recording session in 1927 Chicago. The band of musicians wait for the legendary Ma (Viola Davis) to arrive with her entourage so they can cut a record. 

One of the musicians, an ambitious trumpeter called Levee (Chadwick Boseman), speaks out about his musical vision and desire to record his own version of the album. A stormy argument emerges where the musicians confront each other over history, race and sex.

Davis is ferociously good as Ma and Bosemen, in his last film role, produces a stirring and piercingly powerful performance. 

Tagged with: Cinema New releases

US 2020 Dir George C Wolfe 94 min

Please note: the screening on Tue 8 Dec, 6.10pm is a Captioned Screening.


‘Boseman and Davis deliver superb performances in this timeless meditation on Black art, and those who would exploit it. Yet another fine adaptation of an August Wilson play‘
‘[August] Wilson is one of the great American playwrights, and one of his gifts was to embody that history in precisely drawn individuals‘

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