Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown
About IDFA
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown
IDFA 2014

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

Alex Gibney
United States
120 min
Dutch Premiere
Festival history
The godfather of funk and soul James Brown was known in the 1960s and 1970s as the hardest working man in show business, thanks in part to a troubled youth of poverty and neglect. His suffering combined with his exceptional talent and tenacity to create a potent fuel. Directed by Alex Gibney (, ) and co-produced by Mick Jagger, this documentary uses words, images and music to show how James Brown grew into such a formidable musician. There are archive interviews with the artist himself, and recent interviews with members of his band the Famous Flames as well as prominent musicians and producers. How did Brown go about developing his music and image? What was he like behind the scenes? And how did the star manage to gain acceptance among white audiences in an era when the music scene was completely segregated? How did he tackle racial issues at the time, both personally and as an artist? The wide range of archive footage – including many performances and studio sessions that have never been seen before – gets right to the funky soul of this influential and iconic American figure.
Screening copy
    Jigsaw Productions
    Jigsaw Productions
Involved TV Channel
    HBO Documentary Films
    HBO Documentary Films