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First Look: HBO's Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown Highlights the Music Legend's Activism

Papa's got a brand new documentary. HBO's Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown chronicles the singer's journey from his early days at the Apollo Theater to his height as...

Michael Schneider

Papa's got a brand new documentary. HBO's Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brownchronicles the singer's journey from his early days at the Apollo Theater to his height as the Godfather of Soul.

Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) directed the feature-length documentary, which is also produced by another music legend, Mick Jagger. The movie (premiering Monday, Oct. 27, at 9/8c) features rare footage from the Brown estate, which opened its archives for the first time.

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Mr. Dynamite also includes new interviews with Jagger, who recounts the first time he saw Brown perform; Rev. Al Sharpton; and band members Maceo Parker, Clyde Stubblefield, Melvin Parker, Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis, Martha High, Bootsy Collins and Fred Wesley.

Brown's MC, Danny Ray, also appears, as does The Roots' Questlove and Public Enemy's Chuck D.

"When Mick Jagger reached out to me to direct the documentary, we had a common goal in mind, to take the music of James Brown and put it into a larger historical context," Gibney says. "As a musician, 'Mr. Dynamite' was the essential funk pioneer, a hugely influential figure and one of the greatest live performers — ever."

Brown was also an influential figure in activism, as this first-look clip from the documentary shows.

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