Listen: Maxine’s Baby
Experience the untold story of Tyler Perry like never before. In the groundbreaking documentary “Maxine’s Baby,” filmmakers Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz offer an empathetic and critical exploration of the man behind the Madea movies. Delving into Perry’s life, work, and the controversies surrounding him, this film provides unprecedented insight into his journey.
• “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story” explores Tyler Perry, one of Black America’s most talked-about yet misunderstood figures.
• Directors Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz present a balanced perspective, featuring footage from over ten years of their front-row seat to witness the man.
• For the first time, Perry’s abuse as a child is explored with depth and complexity, alongside an exploration of his faith, rise to Hollywood success, and why his work resonates with so many.
• Critics’ points of view are not left out, as scholars and prominent Black creators such as Spike Lee discuss the problematic elements of his stories.
• Get ready to see Tyler Perry in a new light when “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story” premieres on Prime Video on November 17th.
Love him, hate him, or be indifferent; Tyler Perry is undeniably one of Black America’s most talked-about figures. Yet, he remains largely misunderstood. That will change with “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story.”
Through the lens of Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz — Perry’s former partner/co-parent and protege, respectively — this documentary sheds light on a man whom everyone discusses but few truly know.
“We had a front-row seat to witness this man,” shared Bekele in a recent interview with BET.com. “People have dismissed him without really seeing who he is.”
While Perry’s abuse as a child was briefly discussed in a 2010 interview with Oprah, it hasn’t been thoroughly explored in popular culture. “Maxine’s Baby” changes that, revealing a side of Perry that few have seen. This remarkable film delves into his painful past, including his father’s horrifying treatment and an unrepentant cameo. Against all odds, Perry survived and built the largest film production studio in America. With over ten years of footage, Bekele and Ortiz provide an intimate look at Perry’s early failures, unwavering faith, and rise to Hollywood success.
Furthermore, “Maxine’s Baby” addresses the criticism that Perry has faced throughout his career. Scholars, academics, and influential Black creators, including Spike Lee, dissect the problematic elements of his stories, such as the infantilization of Black women. The film doesn’t ignore these critiques, presenting a balanced, thought-provoking perspective.
While Bekele and Ortiz undoubtedly have personal connections to their subject, they were determined to provide transparency. Perry had no involvement in making the documentary, and the filmmakers understood the importance of including different viewpoints. “He knows he has critics,” said Ortiz. “But we wanted to tell the truth and provide a deeper understanding of why his work resonates with so many.”
Prepare to see Tyler Perry in a whole new light. From tears shed at the groundbreaking of his studio to the gratitude of a dying mother, “Maxine’s Baby” evokes a nuanced portrayal of a complex individual. Through this film, Bekele and Ortiz invite audiences to know him truly, understand his work, and appreciate why it touches the hearts of millions.
Don’t miss the premiere of “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story” on Prime Video on November 17th.