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Betty – They Say I’m Different

  • Phil Cox
  • United Kingdom, France
  • 2017
  • 52 min
  • World Premiere
  • Music Documentary
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With her suggestive lyrics ("If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up") and audacious outfits, the funk singer Betty Davis is far ahead of her time. Too far, perhaps. "If Betty were singing today she’d be something like Madonna; something like Prince," wrote jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in his 1989 autobiography. Davis married Betty in 1968, and she kept his surname after their divorce the following year. Betty – They Say I’m Different, named after her second studio album, which was released in 1974, focuses on the reasons why this "bold soul sister" left the music industry in the late 1970s. There are interviews with family members, friends and former band members. The voice-over, tinted with resignation as it describes her life and its directions, is inspired by interviews with Betty Davis and her song lyrics. Davis has various alter egos: besides Nasty Girl (the title of her third album), there’s also the more spiritual Crow. Regardless, she’s "happy my music is still alive."


  • 52 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
Phil Cox
Giovanna Stopponi for Native Voice Films, Damon Smith, Laurent Mini for La Compagnie Des Taxi-Brousse, Danielle Maggio
Executive producer
Karim Samaï for La Compagnie Des Taxi-Brousse, Catherine Bailey for Catherine Bailey Ltd
Phil Cox
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IDFA history