Betty: They Say I'm Different
A blend of documentary and animation tracing the path of the free-spirited Black Power Goddess.
Director: Philip Cox
AfriKaBa PLUS Q&A with director
54mins / 20 mins / 2017 / UK / France
Betty 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. Without Betty there would not be “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-realised 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.
ABOUT AFRIKABA FESTIVAL
Gwyneth Wint began Afrikaba in 2010 in Hastings, to showcase high-quality work from artists with African and Caribbean heritage, and to engage audiences with enriching and unique experiences. Find out more about Afrikaba Festival.