Tracing the story of Ella Fitzgerald’s life, this documentary explores how her music became a soundtrack for a tumultuous century.
From a 1934 talent contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, the film follows Ella’s extraordinary journey across five decades as she reflects the passions and troubles of the times in her music and life. Moving beyond a conventional biopic, the film uses never-before-seen images, unheard interviews and incredible music to tell the story of an Ella the world never knew: tough, thoughtful, funny and a dazzling musical innovator.
Featuring interviews from Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Jamie Cullum, Norma Miller and a rare appearance from Ella’s adopted son Ray Brown Jr.
After the movie, stream a free live Q&A session with author & music critic WIll Friedwald, Just One Of Those Things producer Reggie Nadelson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author/journalist Margo Jefferson and composer, multi-instrumentalist & vocalist Camille Thurman of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Dir. Leslie Woodhead / 89 minutes / 2019