Sophie Fiennes’ Bloodlight and Bami doc chronicles the living legend across a rousing NY show, glam photoshoots in Paris and an intimate visit to her native country
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami is a real, raw portrait of the radical Jamaican artist across half a decade.
In Sophie Fiennes’ long-awaited documentary, we see a side to Jones that’s rarely been out for public view: she’s captured at home in Jamaica, surrounded by friends and family as she picks at grilled fish and chats, performing in New York for thousands and everywhere in between. In one scene we glimpse that sharp-edged humour, while working open an oyster she exclaims: “I wish my pussy was this tight”. She argues in the studio with her collaborators Sly and Robbie, spitting down her flip phone, and criticizes a stage setup for French late night TV, flanked by dancers in pink lingerie as “too tacky”. In more intimate moments, Grace discusses the behaviour of her violent stepfather, coos at her infant granddaughter, and talks tenderly on the phone to her son, racing through the streets of Paris in the back of a cab. The doc moves fluidly – as Jones’ own accent does – through fascinating, funny and touching moments in the life of an icon.
Resisting the sparkling archival footage of Grace in the days of Studio 54 or rousing tours of Island Life, Fiennes has managed to illustrate a fascinating portrait of the people’s performer and party girl over several years, working as a spectator to Hurricane Grace. It’s stunningly shot, whether moments of Jones hula hooping onstage in front of a blood red backdrop, messy changing room afterparties in Paris or quiet, misty Jamaican landscapes.
In an exclusive clip premiering on Dazed, we get a swift peek behind the mask of the “Nightclubbing” singer in her hometown. It’s rare for any creative medium to capture Jones out of her headdresses or lipstick, but we see her interact with locals and swim, silent and lost in thought. It’s electrifying in how stripped back and sensual this moment is with the legend.
Grace Jones & Friends Live will be in cinemas nationwide for one night only on October 25and Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will be release in cinemas from October 27.