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Netflix releases Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist; a short biopic on the late artist

Promotional image from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Pic credit: Netflix

The beloved Chadwick Boseman has been honored by Netflix by the short documentary titled Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist. It was released on April 17 and will only be available for a limited amount of time. 

This moving documentary features interviews by his peers Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Phylicia Rasha, and Danai Gurira. The guests tearfully praise him and speak about their experiences working with Boseman, paying homage to his work and legacy. 

The Black Panther and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actor passed away last August due to complications from colon cancer. The loss came as a surprise to his fans and many of his peers, as he kept his diagnosis and hospital battles to himself.

What is Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist?

Netflix describes the documentary as, “writers, directors, and actors come together in a conversation about the extraordinary artistic process of Chadwick Boseman.” 

Sharing the recent release of the documentary was his Black Panther costar Lupita Nyong’o. She wrote, “Chadwick worked for the love of the art,” and informed her fans that the documentary was now streaming.

The documentary and trailer both open with words from the late artist himself, a decision that is utterly heart-rendering. Boseman is heard introducing himself in a voiceover. He says, “I’m Chadwick Boseman. I am an artist. People call me an actor. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an actor. I would call myself an artist.” 

This quote opens the door for his collaborators and castmates to recall stories about their time spent working with him and the energy he brought to the scene, and onset.

His Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom co-star Viola Davis shares, “Chadwick was a character actor in a leading man’s body. He was 100% dedicated and was just interested in the work.”

These interviews and stories are intertwined with clips of Boseman’s work and readings of his annotated script from Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. 

The documentary has a limited release 

Fans of the late actor must act quickly though. Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist will only be streaming on Netflix for a limited amount of time. According to Entertainment Weekly, the 21-minute documentary will only be available on the streaming platform for 30 days, starting April 17. 

It has not been disclosed as to why the documentary is only available for a short time. 

Since Boseman’s death, he has received posthumous awards for his work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and is currently nominated for an Oscar.

Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist is now streaming on Netflix.

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