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Review: ‘Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening’ is a remarkable film (Includes first-hand account)

This is a film by noteworthy French filmmaker Ilana Navaro, which illuminates the life of Josephine Baker, an iconic entertainer, World War II spy, and human rights activist. Baker is regarded as the first global black superstar, and rightfully so.

Most impressive about this documentary is that it included many rare and previously unseen archive footage, and it spotlights Baker’s illustrious career, which spans over five decades.

The gripping trailer of “Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening” may be seen below.

An internationally-recognized entertainer, Baker is one of the most successful African American performers in the history of France. The audience will see her rise to fame from her humble roots as an African American girl in Missouri to catapulting into the “Queen of Paris,” prior to joining the French Resistance.

Baker subsequently created her dream family, which was affectionately known as “The Rainbow Tribe,” where she adopted 12 children from the four corners of the globe.

She made three trips back home in 1936, 1948, and 1951, respectively, and each time she witnessed racism firsthand despite her international fame. These adverse times molded her into a stronger person and they played an integral role in her life-changing decisions.

The battle for civil rights became her own up until 1963, at a time when she was the sole woman that spoke besides Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and his well-received “I Have a Dream” speech. Ever since
Baker went on to use her popularity as a platform to serve her political utopia until the end of her life.

The Verdict

Overall, “Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening” on Cinemoi is a fascinating film from start to finish. It highlights the journey of a female superstar’s awakening as she transforms from the “banana dancer” into a fearless fighter for human rights. Baker’s life story is an inspiration to us all, especially during these trying times that we are living in today. It is food for thought, and it garners two thumbs up.

Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker
Murray Korman, photo collection Bryan Hammond
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