"JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE" from XLrator Media opens Sept. 26, 2014.
STARRING: Andre Benjamin, Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots, Andrew Buckley and Ruth Negga.
DIRECTOR: John Ridley (writer, Twelve Years a Slave)
SYNOPSIS: A year in the short life of Jimi Hendrix (Benjamin), 1966-67, as an unknown back-up guitarist playing the Cheetah Club in New York City moves to making his fame in London and his triumphant set at the Monterey Pop Festival in California.
This movie is running the risk of being dismissed as little more than revisionist history. Apparently, Jimi Hendrix was just a nice guy with a sensitive side which, as we all well know, does not merit an entire film. Thus, director Ridley transformed a gentle man into a violent monster who beat his friend, Kathy Etchingham, constantly and viciously. Ms. Etchingham and several of Hendrix's friends have vehemently denied these events. She has openly stated that her years with Hendrix were some of the best years of her life. She has no reason to lie.
Another strike against the film is the fact that it includes no songs written by Hendrix himself. His estate, Experience Hendrix LLC, flatly denied the request to have his music associated with this film. That speaks volumes as to their opinion of this work.
It's certainly a shame and a crime that journalistic license could smear the name of a true icon like Jimi Hendrix. His many friends include Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees and a list that reads like a Who's Who of Rock. None of these people ever once hinted that Hendrix demonstrated any such tendencies. That makes this film a blatant and outright lie that one will not support. One is a relic who was alive when Hendrix was. The brother was one mellow dude who loved music and playing guitar. Wait for a real movie about the real man who set the rock world on fire in the name of love.