Academy Award-winning documentary maker Barbara Kopple delivers definitive proof, from show-stopping testimony in a small South Carolina church to Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre, that nobody raises the roof like Sharon Jones.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
“The incendiary soul singer Sharon Jones already had a few fans in the room when Barbara Kopple’s documentary Miss Sharon Jones! made its world premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival. By the end of the movie everybody in the place had a jones for Jones. The narrative arc of the film is the diminutive (‘four foot 11 and a quarter’) singer’s more than year-long battle with cancer – and her return to performing. But by lavishing huge helpings of Jones’ music and explosive performances on what is a very intimate portrait, the two-time Oscar-winning Kopple keeps the doco from ever becoming maudlin, or predictable, or from even slowing down.” — John Anderson, Indiewire
“Jones has a deep and forceful voice, and her stage presence and energy are equally electric, which leads fans and critics to liken her to James Brown. Forging a professional career as a musician isn’t easy for Miss Sharon Jones, though, as the singer recalls how an executive at a major label told her she was ‘too black, too fat, too short, and too old’ to make it in the business… There’s no denying that Miss Sharon Jones paid her dues a-plenty…
As much as Kopple objectively portrays Jones’s experience kicking cancer ‘in the ass’ (to use the singer’s sassy terminology), she never defines this soulful performer by her illness. Sharon Jones is a fighter and a survivor, Kopple shows, whether she’s breaking through barriers in the music business or beating cancer. Both are ruthless beasts and she trumps them.” — Patrick Mullen, POV Magazine