T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s

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Non-Profit, K-12, Public Library - $79.00

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University, Government, and Business - $175.00


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Blues history through a lavender lens

The 1920s saw a revolution in technology, the advent of the recording industry, that created the first class of African-American women to sing their way to fame and fortune. Blues divas such as Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Alberta Hunter created and promoted a working-class vision of blues life that provided an alternative to the Victorian gentility of middle-class manners. In their lives and music, blues women presented themselves as strong, independent women who lived hard lives and were unapologetic about their unconventional choices in clothes, recreational activities and bed partners. Blues singers disseminated a Black feminism that celebrated emotional resilience and sexual pleasure, no matter the source.

"The film is never less than captivating," wrote prize-winning film critic Ernest Hardy when he chose "T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness" as Art Doc of the Week for craveonline.com. Read his laudatory and penetrating review.

New York film and music critic Joe Bendel writes, "Philipson balances scandal and sensitivity quite well and features some great music." Check out his blog review here.

Director Philipson was interviewed on a Bay Area radio program, Wanda's Picks, during SF Frameline 2010.

Click HERE to download press kit.


*”Best Short Documentary,” Out in the Desert Film Festival, 2013
*”Runner Up,” LGBT film, San Francisco Black Film Festival, 2013

Official Selection: 

Arizona International Film Festival

Austin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

Frameline (San Francisco LGBT)

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Outflix (Memphis LGBT)

Pittsburgh International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Northern Louisiana Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Image Out: Rochester Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Ft. Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Queer Black Cinema Film and Music Festival (NYC)

Reel Affirmations (Washington DC LGBT)

Image+Nation (Montreal LGBT)

Reeling: The Chicago Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

Northern California Film Festival

Some Prefer Cake Film Festival (Bologna, Italy)

Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival (Kingston, Ontario)

London Lesbian Film Festival (London, ON)

Athena Film Festival (Women and Leadership)

Pan African Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA)

QFest Film Festival (Philadelphia, PA)

Cinemarosa (Queens Museum, NYC)

Black Harvest Film Festival (Chicago, IL)

Hotter Than July Festival (Detroit, MI)

MIX (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Out on Film (Atlanta, GA)

Harlem International Film Festival (NYC)

Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

African Diaspora International Film Festival (NYC)

Out in the Desert Film Festival (Tucson, AZ)*

San Francisco Black Film Festival*

North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival