Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

BBFC RatingMiles Davis: Birth of the Cool

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
DirectorStanley Nelson
Running Time1HR 55MINS
SeasonMain Programme

Miles Davis’ life and music are given a fascinating re-telling in this new documentary from director Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers – Vanguard of the Revolution).

Miles was a singular force of nature, the very embodiment of cool. The central theme of Miles Davis' life, and of this film is Davis' restless determination to break boundaries and live life on his own terms. 

Nelson’s account uses newly-released archival footage, studio outtakes and rare photos in combination with interviews with the people who knew Davis best – friends, family and collaborators, among them musicians Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Carlos Santana, legendary jazz promoter George Wein, and past love Juliette Gréco. 

From these insights, Nelson builds a complex, multi-faceted portrait of Davis the musician – his fierce creativity and musical development – and the man – his past loves, personal relationships and addictions. Overlaying it all are Davis’ own words, from his 1989 autobiography, read by Carl Lumbly. 

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool tells the story of a truly singular talent and unpacks the man behind the horn.