films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
more info


The Cry of Jazz

1959 / 34m - USA
Documentary, Music
The Cry of Jazz poster

After seeing this, I had to double-check whether this documentary wasn't just some ironic riff on the usual racial discussions happening in America, but apparently it was meant to be 100% serious. Maybe it was more groundbreaking 60 years ago, but I found it really hard to sit through.

Read all

Jazz is used as a template to explain the black communities and their plight. It starts off quite theoretical, with a little introduction into the world of jazz, but it quickly ventures into racial stereotyping, with strange and almost poetic parallels between drawn between jazz and their creators.

I found the narrative extremely farfetched, the faux discussions cringeworthy and the message way too forceful. The second half in particular ventures into territory that feels like the director has been navel-gazing for just a fraction too long. Again, this kind of provocation might've been useful/interesting in the 50s, now it's just crazy talk.