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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom And What's Making Us Happy

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): (L to R) Chadwick Boseman as Levee, Colman Domingo as Cutler, Viola Davis as Ma Rainey, Michael Potts as Slow Drag, and Glynn Turman as Toldeo. Cr. David Lee / Netflix

David Lee/David Lee/Netflix

The excellent new film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a story about art. It's a story about anger, and it's a story about respect. Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted from August Wilson's 1984 play, the film is inspired by the life of real blues singer Ma Rainey, and includes performances from Viola Davis, Glynn Turman, and the late Chadwick Boseman.

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