Oscar Brown Jr.: Music Is My Life, Politics My Mistress

A stirring video portrait (2005) of Chicago singer, songwriter, playwright, TV host, and civil rights activist Oscar Brown Jr., completed not long before his death. Director Donnie L. Betts is aided immeasurably by Brown himself, a masterful storyteller who discusses his life with a beguiling blend of humor, modesty, and drama and a keen eye for detail. Archival footage and interviews with Amiri Baraka, Abbey Lincoln, and Studs Terkel provide additional perspective, but the filmmaker's wisest move is allowing performance footage of Brown to illustrate his social, political, and personal choices. 110 min.

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