10 films like A Jazzman’s Blues you must watch

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: October 2, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)

This article discusses 10 films like A Jazzman’s Blues you must watch.

A Jazzman’s Blues is Tyler Perry’s passion project. It premiered at TIFF and is currently streaming on Netflix. Perry takes us back to 1987 when a stack of letters is delivered to a state attorney general, possible evidence in the long-unsolved murder case of Bayou (Joshua Boone). It’s another tale of star-crossed lovers as Bayou meets Leanne (Solea Pfieffer), they fall in love, but Leanne’s relatives forbid the relationship, and the couple is torn apart. What Tyler Perry brings to this film is a story that translates through the music of one man. He soulfully brings together jazz and Black history to explore their relationship. There are films that highlight colourism and marriage that have been extremely emotional and some of those films also use music to highlight the segregation at the time.

Like For Like – 10 films like A Jazzman’s Blues you must watch

Sylvie’s Love (2020)

Sylvie’s Love had a beautiful mixture of music from the era and the lives that the music impacted. Sylvie has a summer romance with a saxophonist who takes a summer job at her father’s record store in Harlem; when they reconnect years later, they discover that their feelings for each other have not faded with the years. It’s a beautiful love story with a soundtrack that mirrors the love shared on screen.

Passing (2021)

Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut was absolutely stunning. The black and white coloring presented the roaring 20s in a different way. Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga had brilliant chemistry that made you fall for them. In 1920s New York City, a black woman finds her world up-ended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend who’s passing as white.

One Night in Miami (2021)

Possibly one of the most important films to come out in the past couple of years, One Night in Miami highlights a fictional night involving some of the biggest names at the time. On the night of Feb. 25, 1964, in Miami, Cassius Clay joins Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcolm X, and they discuss the responsibility of being successful black men during the civil rights movement. The conversations had during this film were incredibly deep and still effective considering the sociopolitical climate at the time.

Mudbound (2019)

Mudbound is one of the most underrated Netflix pictures and it’s because it came out during a time when the Academy wasn’t looking at these films as serious contenders. Even though the film was nominated for the best-adapted screenplay, the movie directed by Dee Rees deserved more recognition. Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjust to life after the war. It is such an interesting story with a phenomenal cast and a heartbreaking third act that will never leave your mind.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Chadwick Boseman’s final performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is one of his best. This film had a wonderful ensemble and music that viewers could feel flow through them. Tensions rise when trailblazing blues singer Ma Rainey and her band gather at a recording studio in Chicago in 1927. There are such powerful conversations among the band and Davis gives another knockout performance in this piece. Again, bringing together Black culture through music as it became a way to express their feelings in a different way.

A United Kingdom (2016)

In Amma Asante’s film, A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, she explores the love between two people who have lived different lives. On the eve of his return from his studies in London to Bechuanaland where he is to become king, Prince Seretse Khama falls in love and marries Ruth Williams, a white woman from south London. Bringing Ruth home causes a major international outcry. It shows the class and racial struggles between the two of them and the rest of Prince Seretse’s family.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

When Barry Jenkins got behind the camera again to direct this film, it felt like a beautiful exchange of love between two people. It felt like such a soft, intimate exploration of a young woman embracing her pregnancy, while she and her family set out to prove her childhood friend and lover innocent of a crime he didn’t commit. If Beale Street Could Talk has such strong emotional moments and lessons between family members that show the strength of the family.

Loving (2016)

The true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision. Their marriage became such an important part of American history that the film did do them justice. The hardships they had to go through as a couple and as individuals at the time were horrible. Again, these films are made to educate others on how the system has been broken for years and has been hard to fix ever since.

Jungle Fever (1991)

In the 90s a film like this was considered a risk because of what the story is about. When a successful and married black man contemplates having an affair with a white girl from work, he’s quite rightly worried that the racial difference would make an already taboo relationship even worse. The Jungle Fever shows the lengths that he goes to while trying to figure out how people would perceive him.

Do The Right Thing (1989)

A Spike Lee joint that brings together the vibrancy of one street in Brooklyn through music, culture, and the community of people that make that borough what it is. On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone’s hate and bigotry smolder and builds until it explodes into violence.

Do you have any other recommendations for films like A Jazzman’s Blues? Let us know!

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