Patois New Orleans International Film Festival
Betty – They Say I’m Different
Post-screening conversation moderated by Melissa A. Weber aka DJ Soul Sister and ethnomusicology scholar Danielle Maggio, a co-producer of the film.
Sunday, March 24, 2019
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
The Broad Theater, 636 N. Broad St., New Orleans
Explosive 1970s funk pioneer Betty Davis changed the landscape for female artists in America. She was the first, as former husband Miles Davis said, Madonna before Madonna, Prince before Prince. An aspiring songwriter from a small steel town, Betty arrived on the 70s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles startlingly turning him from jazz to funk on the album she named Bitches Brew. She then, despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself. Betty was a feminist pioneer, inspiring and intimidating in a manner like no woman before. Then suddenly she vanished. Creatively blending documentary and animation this movie traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations. Documentary. Directed by Philip Cox.