Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami is nothing short of extraordinary. How could it be anything other than extraordinary… She is a larger than life talent with a cutting-edge style. This documentary has music, fashion, family, history and more. It is opening at Seattle’s SIFF Cinema Egyptian today! Get tickets now!
This new documentary shines a gentle light of humanity on one of our favorite divas. We see her dynamic visual stylings. Hear her amazing vocals and creativity. Learn about her family and upbringing as she travels to her birthplace, Jamaica.
Director, Sophie Fiennes, really does a great job of balancing this documentary between the public and private aspects of Grace Jones’ life. We see her on stage performing some of our favorite music and then juxtapose that with bringing her mother a hat she picked out for Sunday church services. “Slave to the Rhythm” and church hats. I bet you never put those two together…
Grace Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1948. Yes, she turns 70 next month. Can you believe it? Her parents moved to the United States when Jones was pretty young, leaving them in the care of her maternal grandmother and grandmother’s new husband, Master P (Peart) AKA “Mas P.” We learn a lot about “Mas P” including the fact that he seemed to be a sadistic child abuser. He never wanted children and seemed to prove the fact by beating Grace and her siblings on a regular basis. Grace refers to several years of therapy and an actual break-through with an acting instructor. It seems that she had some violent tendencies that would come out during her acting lessons. The teacher actually hypnotized a safe word (for his own use and safety) into her to add a bit of control to their sessions.
We meet Jones’ son and many relatives throughout the documentary. While in Jamaica, she is also trying to record a new album. She doesn’t have a record label at the time to flex her own artistic muscles and escape the arbitrary restrictions of record companies. You would think that anyone signing her would know she is best when unleashed. We see her argue with band members that seem to be on “island time.” We also see her wrangling her manager into doing his job and getting signed contracts before she goes on stage and accidentally performs for free. She is kicking butts and taking names.
Family, friends and neighbors reminisce about the old days and frequently bring up the much hated “Mas P.” Child abuse and abusers should never be taken lightly or forgiven, in my opinion. This doesn’t really bring down the film though. You take it in as part of her life and maybe a driving force to be free of such things. She was a wild child and transformed all of that into her art.
Grace Jones is an artistic powerhouse. She is a singer, songwriter, actress, record producer and model. She has taken fashion and gender-bending to new dimensions. Could you imagine looking through her hat collection? I bet the only person who could compete with her in the arena of hats is Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen would only be competing in sheer number of hats not styles. I don’t imagine anyone competing with Jones on style.
If you like Grace Jones, then you need to see this documentary. It is spectacular and insightful. It opens at Seattle’s SIFF Cinema Egyptian this afternoon. You never know how long these things will stay around so get your tickets now! Click here for more info and tickets.