Little Richard: I Am Everything (15)
Fri 19 May 2023 - Wed 24 May 2023
£8* Standard | £5* Student / Under 25s
Various (See dates below)
Dir. Lisa Cortés
2023 | 101 mins | USA
Featuring Little Richard
Like a quasar burning past the gaslight, director Lisa Cortés’s eye-opening documentary explodes the whitewashed canon of American pop music.
Little Richard: I Am Everything shines a clarifying light on the Black, queer origins of rock ’n’ roll, and establishes the genre’s big bang: Richard Wayne Penniman. Testimonials from legendary musicians and cultural figures, Black and queer scholars, Penniman’s family and friends, and interviews with the artist himself all exuberantly reclaim a history that was willfully appropriated by white artists and institutions.
Cortés updates the canon with a treasure trove of rarely seen archival footage of Penniman. Among the gems are scenes with his Black and queer predecessors and contemporaries, like Sister Rosetta Tharpe: the mother of rock ’n’ roll who gave 14-year-old Penniman his first break. Little Richard: I Am Everything navigates the extreme tensions of race and sexuality of his time and reminds us that outsiders and outcasts can possess superpowers that, given the chance, can create new worlds for us all to dance in.
Listen to the playlist on Spotify:
F-Rating is a new rating for films directed by women, written by women and/or with significant female characters on screen, in their own right. Find out more here >>