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Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues, dir. Sacha Jenkins, USA 2022, 104 min., English

Sacha Jenkins (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, Burn Motherfucker, Burn!) turns his attention to one of 20th-century America’s most complex and fascinating figures. Using archive footage and never-before-heard home recordings, Jenkins delivers a definitive portrait of a man alternately revered, scorned, adored and misunderstood – Louis Armstrong.

Louis Armstrong lived an extraordinary life through turbulent times. Born into poverty to a teenage single mother in segregated New Orleans, he lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression and the Civil Rights movement, spending 50 years in the spotlight until his death in 1971. Armstrong’s fame and public persona has come to obscure his music – not least the spectacular Hot Fives & Sevens recordings that did more than almost any other to shape the sound of jazz. Jenkins redresses the balance, giving Armstrong his due as a true musical pioneer – while also capturing the public and private essence of this American icon.

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

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