By Susanna BOEHM

BOOMTOWN MEDIA - as SALES All rights, World / PROD / FIN

Documentary - Completed 2010

Before the backdrop of The Gershwins' stirring opera PORGY AND BESS, Susanna Boehm‘s PORGY & ME tells the touching story of the lifelong battle of black artists for recognition, self-realization and equality in the face of everyday worries, difficult setbacks and the shackles of one’s own origins.

    • Year of production
    • 2010
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Family
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 86 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Susanna BOEHM
    • Producer(s)
    • Thomas GRUBE (Boomtown Media), Uwe DIERKS (Boomtown Media)
    • Synopsis
    • In the (white) world of opera, George Gershwin’s alternately celebrated and controversial opera Porgy and Bess is one of the very few works that takes people of color as its subject. Susanna Boehm's stirring documentary follows the cast of the New York Harlem Theatre on their European tour of The Gershwins’ work. As the troupe travels from city to city, attracting stares from startled Austrians, the parallels between the opera and the real life experiences of individual singers are revealed in a series of deeply personal conversations. Growing up poor, with drugs and violence a common experience, the ambition to become an opera singer seemed an impossible dream for many cast members. A sentiment voiced by many is that black singers have to be twice as good as white singers. Terry Lee Cook has been performing Porgy for ten years. But in the black community, the common perception is that Porgy and Bess is a graveyard for singers of color.
      Despite the attendant complexities, the music overwhelms. Embedded throughout the film are show-stoppers such as It Ain't Necessarily So, and Summer Time. As timeless as anything penned by Verdi or Puccini, Porgy and Bess is a quintessentially American masterpiece that captures "the passionate battle of African-American artists for recognition, self realization and equality" in glorious song.
    • Partners & financing
    • ARTE
      Norddeutscher Rundfunk
      Medienboard Berlim-Brandenburg