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‘Bessie’ Director Dee Rees Weaves a Tale of a Complicated Woman

Bessie director Dee Rees talks to Indiewire about making the anticipated HBO biopic about the famed blues singer Bessie Smith.

Says Rees, “I guess I have this feeling like, ‘Wow, this is the first Bessie Smith film that’s going to be made, what do you want to say?’ And I knew I didn’t want it to be just like a jazz-hands, song-and-dance kind of representation. I wanted it to be a real deep dive into her persona. My whole idea was that what looks beautiful from afar is very painful up close, and this woman who recounts it and goes oh, she’s a very classy woman— I wanted to show no, she’s actually a very vulnerable, and sometimes lonely, person who is trying to figure out how to love.”

Read the full story here.