“Bessie” trailer teases us with Queen Latifah singing the blues


Finally, we get to see Bessie sing. HBO has released a teaser for its biopic Bessie starring Queen Latifah.


The short trailer gives us a quick glimpse at the tumultuous life of iconic bisexual blues singer Bessie Smith. The project was written and directed by out filmmaker Dee Rees whose last film was the critically acclaimed 2011 release Pariah

Bessie promises to delve into Smith’s complicated personal life, including her relationships with men and women. Tika Sumpter and Mike Epps both play love interests for Bessie, with Michael Kenneth Williams portraying her real-life husband, Jack Gee. The teaser also showcases Mo’Nique as fellow queer blues legend Ma Rainey, who became a mentor for Bessie.


Rees told AfterEllen that the film would not shy away from the women’s sexuality.

“Everybody went there, and they lived both sides of them. It’s telling the truth of these black queer women of the time who blazed trails for everyone else and were important politically and huge from a feminist perspective.”

All I know from watching those 30 seconds is I definitely want more. The film is set to premiere Saturday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO.

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