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BITCHIN’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James

Spotlight Documentary

World Premiere

FEATURE | United States | 111 MINUTES | English |


New York, Documentary, Music, Biography

This profile of legendary funk/R&B icon Rick James captures the peaks and valleys of his storied career to reveal a complicated and rebellious soul, driven to share his talent with the world. Known for his unapologetic and charismatic stage presence, James has been celebrated for his massive catalog of such hit songs as "Mary Jane" and "Superfreak." In this definitive portrait, acclaimed filmmaker Sacha Jenkins examines the brain beneath the braids, charting his soaring artistic success and eventual personal decline. Sexuality, race, and the tumultuous stew of American culture all contributed to the transformation of the songwriter born as James Ambrose Johnson into the larger-than-life performer forever known as Rick James. Against a soundtrack that compels you to get out of your seat from the opening moments, Jenkins approaches his subject not with reverence, but instead with indisputable care as he delves into the circumstances that birthed this one-of-a-kind personality. Surprising and enlightening, Jenkins’ film still pulls no punches with its exploration of James’ tragic obsessions. Comprised of rare archival performances, animation, interviews with family and collaborators and recorded conversations with James himself, this crowd-pleasing film proves the impact that this undeniable force had on American music and popular culture. —Loren Hammonds

*Part of the Juneteenth programming

Part of the Juneteenth programming. Sponsored by:


Directed by Sacha Jenkins

Sacha Jenkins, a native New Yorker, is an Emmy®-nominated director, writer, producer, and journalist, whose work includes Wu Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, Railroad Ties, Rapture, Word is Bond, Burn Motherfucker Burn, and Fresh Dressed.

Sacha Jenkins
Steve Rivo
Sacha Jenkins, Steve Rivo, Jason Pollard
Hans Charles, Bryan Donnell, Antonio Rossi
Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge
Jason Pollard
Executive Producer
Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins, Vinnie Malhotra, Douglas Banker, Ty James
US Distributor
SHOWTIME Networks Inc


Press Contact
Lauren Kleiman
Phone: 3102345138
International Sales Contact
Cyrus Farrokh
Propagate Content International
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone: 1-818-434-2362
Print Source
Zoey Gordon
SHOWTIME Networks Inc
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 310-234-5314
US Sales Contact
Zoey Gordon
SHOWTIME Networks Inc
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 310-234-5314