Little Richard: I Am Everything
Starring Richard Penniman, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, John Waters, Billy Porter, Nile Rodgers, and Nona Hendryx
Little Richard: I Am Everything” is an exceptional and moving documentary that takes us on a journey through the life of one of music’s most influential figures. The film, directed by Lisa Cortes (The Apollo, The Remix), offers a deeply personal and inspiring portrait of the legendary musician.
The documentary comprehensively examines Little Richard’s life, from his humble beginnings in Georgia to his meteoric rise to fame. Through interviews with Paul McCartney, Billy Porter (Pose), Mick Jagger, John Waters (Hairspray, Pecker), and others, we gain a deeper understanding of the man behind the music. The interviews vividly depict Little Richard’s personality, revealing his wit, humor, and larger-than-life persona.
One of the film’s most striking aspects is how it addresses two of the complexities of Little Richard’s life, racism and homophobia. The documentary handles these issues with sensitivity and nuance, providing context for Little Richard’s struggles throughout his life. Through the interviews, we learn about his experiences with discrimination and prejudice and their impact on his personal and professional life.
Little Richard was a trailblazer in the music industry, breaking down barriers and inspiring countless artists who followed in his footsteps. The director asks, “Without Little Richard, would Lizzo exist? Would Lil Nas X? Would the Rolling Stones?” The documentary showcases his extraordinary talent and his tireless pursuit of self-expression through art. It celebrates his enduring legacy and impact on music and popular culture.
"Without Little Richard, would Lizzo exist? Would Lil Nas X? Would the Rolling Stones?"
The documentary is a testament to the power of music and the enduring impact that Little Richard had on the industry. It’s a celebration of his extraordinary talent and his tireless pursuit of self-expression through art. The film reminds us of the importance of staying true to ourselves and fighting for our beliefs, no matter the obstacles we face. My biggest regret about the film is that it came too late for Little Richard to see (he died in 2020) and too late to hear from so many of the people who knew him personally.
Overall, “Little Richard: I Am Everything” is a beautifully crafted and inspiring documentary that captures the essence of a true icon. It would not surprise me if someone saw this and decided it was time for a new biopic. The film offers a unique perspective on Little Richard’s life and legacy, providing insight into his impact on music and popular culture. With great care and attention to detail, director Cortes has created a powerful and moving tribute to one of music’s most influential figures.
It's a must-see for anyone interested in music history or looking for an inspiring story.