John Ridley's new Jimi Hendrix biopic: straining credibility by making Jimi a woman-beater?

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    May 21, 2014 10:44 PM GMT

    Rachel Belle ( new Jimi Hendrix biopic, "Jimi: All is By My Side," seemed like a fitting film to open the Seattle International Film Festival. It celebrates one of Seattle's most famous sons, plus it was written and directed by John Ridley, who just won an Oscar for the film "12 Years A Slave"...

    The film is set in 1966 and 1967, when Jimi arrives in London.

    "Jimi's first 100 days in England were the most extraordinary days of his life. There has never been a performer in the history of music who became famous so fast. Nobody. Nobody's had the time where they went from completely unknown to essentially superstar in three month's time," explains Charles R. Cross, author of the Jimi Hendrix biography, "Room Full of Mirrors."

    So what did Charles think of the new film?

    "I hated it."

    "The most shocking thing is Jimi is shown beating a woman twice. That woman is named Kathy Etchingham, who was Jimi's longtime girlfriend from London. He was with her for three years. She says that no domestic violence like that ever happened," says Cross. "In interviewing over 300 people for my book, I never heard a story that is even close to that."

    In one scene, in a bar, Jimi yanks a payphone from Kathy's hand and beats her with it until her face is black and blue, and bleeding.

    "I just cannot say how offensive it is to me that an African American man is portrayed as a domestic violence creator, when this was not something that anyone ever told a story of Jimi Hendrix doing," says Cross.

    The former girlfriend whose character is played in the movie (and who wasn't consulted by the director at all, despite her requests), chimes in...

    Kathy EtchinghamWell!

    What can we make of these reports?

    In my opinion the writer has taken scenes from my book “Through Gypsy Eyes” and twisted the facts to fit his own warped agenda.

    My book tells the truth about what happened and is a true reflection of what things were like in 60s London.

    The times were fun and amusing.

    Mr Ridley has taken the story and turned it into a dull as ditchwater work of fiction while claiming it is a “true story”...

    Ridley has presented my character as a cartoon-like low class drug-addled alcoholic white groupie and Jimi as a violent black simpleton who had to be coached in how to do his hair and play his music by a teenaged model girl. Both these characterisations are offensive and inaccurate.

    Ridley's got some 'splainin to do. We'll see what he comes up with.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    May 21, 2014 11:11 PM GMT
    lol maybe he hung out with Ike Turner