The forthcoming film promises an “intimate yet propulsive look at Rick James, one of rock, funk and R&B’s most legendary and often under-appreciated figures”.
An official synopsis for Bitchin’ reads: “The documentary presents a full picture of James’ dramatic rise and fall, focusing in on the ‘Punk-Funk’ music he left behind.”
Bitchin’ premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, and is set to be releasedin the US on September 3. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed.
The film’s director, Sacha Jenkins, said in a statement: “The ‘wild’ side of Rick James often eclipses his musical genius, but the mathematical equation that is his life depends on all of the numbers to make a whole.
“Our aim was to create a balanced portrait of a brilliant artist who both chased his dreams and stalked more than a few demons. Still, his influence on funk and popular music and culture is unparalleled, and his eventual rise to the top is easily more compelling than any freebase rush.”
Rick James died in August 2004 at the age of 56. Last year, he was posthumously sued for allegedly raping a 15-year-old in 1979.
As the Associated Press reports, the lawsuit was brought under New York’s Child Victims Act – a newly introduced piece of legislation that extends the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors.
In an affidavit filed on February 13, 2020, the woman explains that she was attacked by James in the spring of 1979, when the ‘Super Freak’ singer visited a youth detention centre where she was living at the time.