GenreDocumentary, Biography, Music Music directorRobert Burger CountryUnited States
DirectorDamani Baker, Alex Vlack Release dateMarch 2009 (2009-03) (SXSW)
January 27, 2010 (2010-01-27) (United States) CastBill Withers (Himself), Clarence Avant (Himself), Benorce Blackmon (Himself), Cornell Dupree (Himself), James Gadsen (Himself), Corey Glover (Himself) Similar moviesWhitesnake: Made in Japan, Taylor Swift & Def Leppard: CMT Crossroads, Kiss: Monster Tour in Zurich, Bon Jovi: Live on VH1 Unplugged, Kiss: Rock the Nation Live, Twisted Sister: Live at Wacken Open Air (The Reunion)
TaglineYou know the music. Now meet the man.
Still bill alex vlack and damani baker at silverdocs 2009 on dvd now
Still Bill is a 2009 documentary film about musician Bill Withers. It received its world premiere at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival. The title is a reference to Withers' 1972 album of the same name.
The film follows the life of Bill Withers, from his roots in West Virginia to his career in the United States Navy, to his famed musical career and post-retirement family life.
The film received mostly positive reviews. Review aggregator website Metacritic gave the film a 76 out of 100, indicating "generally positive reviews."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3½ out of 4 stars and wrote positively about the film except for one set-up interview with Cornel West and Tavis Smiley:
[Withers] still lives and survives as a happy man. Still Bill is about a man who topped the charts, walked away from it all in 1985 and is pleased that he did... Perhaps in an attempt to slip some "meaning" into the film, the documentarians Damani Baker and Alex Vlack arrange a conversation with the scholar Cornel West and Tavis Smiley from PBS. It feels like they're trying to lead Bill into heavy generalizations, but he won't go there. Withers seems as close to everyday Zen as I can imagine. He talks a great deal about his philosophy, to be sure, but it's direct and manifestly true: Make the most of your chances, do the best you can, stop when you're finished, love your family, enjoy life.
Mike Hale of The New York Times also thought the film was well done and mirrored Ebert's position on the interview with West and Smiley:
Offstage Bill Withers, the eternal hero of karaoke baritones, exhibits the same gift for aphorism and general soulfulness that informed hit songs like “Lean on Me” and “Ain't No Sunshine.” This makes much of the biographical documentary Still Bill pleasant and even moving... A dialogue among Mr. Withers, the scholar Cornel West and the television host Tavis Smiley feels forced.