Stranger: Bernie Worrell On Earth

Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell was a child prodigy at piano who quickly became a synthesiser genius in the ’70s. His work with P-Funk has been heavily sampled and his approach to sounds on the keyboard has spawned entire genres of music. Yet he is in a perilous state at present, being barely able to keep his nomadic life together. This documentary is an unfortunately shallow assessment of the man’s career and more importantly, the man himself, who never gets to tell his side of the story despite the many, many allusions to the state of his mental health. This 40-minute documentary is an unending stream of testimonials from peers, attesting to Worrell’s genius without really elaborating on his work or giving any exposition of his life. The doc’s unbalanced approach requires the viewer to be a fan in order to know what’s going on but frustrates those same fans with its lack of detail and overly impressionistic style. (MVD)