Based on the “mother of the blues” herself, Gertrude Pridgett, better known as Ma Rainey, August Wilson’s play-turned-film takes audiences through the tense recording session of the album Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Rainey’s music embodies the essence of the southern Back experience, telling her story as a Black woman making her own way and experiencing poverty, sex, incarceration, and superstition, with a phenomenal performance by Viola Davis.
The film is a powerful send off for Chadwick Boseman, who plays brilliantly alongside Davis in his final role. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a prime example of the plight of Black women fighting for what they deserve, and a Black man’s will to make a place for himself in a world that does not honor his existence.
Where to watch: Netflix