Catalogue Number
Release Date
30th September 2016
Feature Film - Documentary
Bayou Maharajah
Bayou Maharajah explores the life, times and music of piano legend James Booker, who Dr. John described as 'the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.' Lily Keber's roller coaster portrait traces Booker’s life from his early years as a chart-topping child prodigy, to his star-studded years touring and playing as a sideman, through his outrageous solo career in America and Europe. First-person narrators lead the viewer through Booker’s unbelievable onstage performances, occasionally in his underwear, dishing out drug-fueled conspiracy theories. Featuring interviews with the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John, Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, together with a generous helping of archival footage, the film brings to life the unforgettable story of this amazing musician. Bayou Maharajah has already won a series of awards, including Best Southern Film (Oxford American), Best Louisiana Feature (New Orleans Film Festival), Jury Mention (New Orleans Film Festival) and Grand Jury Prize (Fairhope Film Festival). '…the film is almost an act of necromancy, calling forth the spirit of its subject not just in words and images, but in its very structure' - Alex Jennings, Offbeat 'Highly fascinating on a universal scale, whether you’re a musician or not… incredibly well-researched, cheeky and completely addictive viewing' - Kai Hoffman, LondonJazz 'The result is not only a uniquely creative music documentary, but also the best film about New Orleans in years' - Ken Korman, Gambit '…Keber’s film is one of most culturally important documentaries made in recent years' - Caitlin Love, Oxford American '…ecstatic, sorrowful, beautiful, pained, full of anger, joy and something otherworldly' - Matthew Odam, Austin American-Statesman