“The enthralling documentary that Little Richard deserves.”
—Owen Glieberman, Variety
“Chock-full of useful information from music scholars, historians, and fans. But Cortés’s wisest move is to let us hear from the singer himself.”
—Odie Henderson, Boston Globe
This film tells the story of the black queer origins of rock ’n’ roll. It explodes the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator — the originator — “Little” Richard Penniman.
Through a wealth of archive and performance that brings us into Richard’s complicated inner world, the film unspools the icon’s life story with all its switchbacks and contradictions. In interviews with family, musicians, and cutting-edge Black and queer scholars, the film reveals how Richard created an art form for ultimate self-expression, yet what he gave to the world he was never able to give to himself.
Featuring interviews with John Waters, Mick Jagger, Billy Porter, and many more luminaries, this film will make you think about Rock and Roll in a whole new way.