Little Richard: I Am Everything

Anyone who believes the history of rock music began with Elvis will be proven wrong in this music documentary about the genre’s actual creator: Little Richard.

Time & Tickets

In 2016, a video about the history of rock music went viral. Fifty years of rock music summarised in one rousing 15-minute mix. In that video, a long parade of white men. But rock history really began with a black, religious, and omnisexual man: Richard Wayne Penniman, or Little Richard, known for hits like TUTTI FRUTTI, LUCILLE and LONG TALL SALLY. A flamboyant artist who was already androgynous when Prince was yet to be born.

In the documentary LITTLE RICHARD: I AM EVERYTHING, director Lisa Cortès rewrites music history and reveals Little Richard’s complex inner world. The film corrects the whitewashed music canon and supplements it with a wealth of Little Richard’s predecessors and contemporaries, such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe: the woman who gave then-fourteen-year-old Penniman his breakthrough.

Cortès paints a loving portrait of an underappreciated revolutionary. Without Little Richard, there would be no Beatles, Stones, or David Bowie. This ode to Little Richard shows how free spirits can have a power that, when given the chance, unlocks new worlds in which we can all be ourselves. A whop bob-b-luma b-lop bam boom! (mv)

Lisa Cortés, USA, 2023, 101 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles.