Showtime Documentary Films Sets Rick James Feature


Showtime Documentary Films has revealed the documentary feature Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, directed by Sacha Jenkins (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, Burn Motherf*cker, Burn!).

Bitchin’ promises an “intimate yet propulsive” look at James, one of rock, funk and R&B’s most legendary and often underappreciated figures. It features rare footage of his live shows, never-before-seen home video, original interviews with legendary artists, collaborators and friends, and a treasure trove of recorded interviews with James, who died in 2004.

The film will have a world premiere at the Tribeca Festival tonight as part of the festival’s inaugural Juneteenth programming slate, ahead of the Showtime premiere later this year.

“This film is yet another striking work from Sacha, as he continues to document and contextualize the most iconic figures and events that have shaped the contemporary Black experience in America,” said Vinnie Malhotra, executive VP of nonfiction programming at Showtime Networks. “In this case, he’s really gone deep to illuminate the artist beyond the headlines and show the musically groundbreaking path of Rick James, without shying away from the painful and difficult demons he battled throughout.”

“The ‘wild’ side of Rick James often eclipses his musical genius, but the mathematical equation that is his life depends on all of the numbers to make a whole,” said Jenkins. “Our aim was to create a balanced portrait of a brilliant artist who both chased his dreams and stalked more than a few demons. Still, his influence on funk and popular music and culture is unparalleled, and his eventual rise to the top is easily more compelling than any freebase rush.”