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Michelle Materre's review on "Bolden"


Michelle Materre's review on "Bolden"

Michelle Materre

Don’t bother seeing “BOLDEN”!

In case you were thinking about going to see the just released film about famed New Orleans musician from the turn of the 20 th century, Charles “Buddy” Bolden, think again. Granted, while it’s almost impossible to create a film about a person who really existed, but for whom there’s no documented references – no recorded music, only one faded photo – it’s not hard to create a film that has some integrity and substance, especially about such an important, if imaginary, historical figure.

Instead of seeing the film, you may want to just buy the soundtrack by Wynton Marsalis. He did an incredible job of “imagining” Buddy Bolden’s music by combining the sound of three jazz musicians whose music was recorded and all of whom played with Bolden at some point in his very brief career. However, one might also question why Wynton Marsalis allowed his name to be associated as Executive Producer on this racialized, traumatizing, contrived representation of Hollywood stereotyping at its best!

What a waste of talent, advertising dollars and beautiful Black women! How dare Dan Pritzker characterize all Black women as over-sexualized hookers, only interested in demonizing, poisoning and betraying our own Black men? Didn’t he see the news WE just read yesterday? Three Black women have risen to the top as the three top beauty pageant winners of the country – Miss U.S.A., Miss America and Miss Teen U.S.A. Could that possibly have been a mistake, or are you, Dan Pritzker, mistaken about the value, intelligence, social significance and magnificence of Black women?

I work with too many talented filmmakers of color for this one-time director to be deemed qualified to direct such a film, about the Black man who discovered America’s only original art form – JAZZ! How about giving Julie Dash, Neema Barnette, or Raoul Peck, to name a few, the same opportunities and print/ad budgets for their scripts and their versions of our stories they want to tell?

And actors – when are you going to take a stand and STOP the madness and STOP accepting such demeaning roles?

You know, I don’t usually go on such a tear, but today, I just can’t help myself. It’s enough already!